Church, charity, school bodies still exempt from Property Tax

It’s official: property used by churches, educational and charitable institutions will continue to be exempt from the Property Tax Government intends to implement this year.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert confirmed this yesterday following queries about a clause in new proposed Property Tax legislation which was laid in Parliament last Friday. Also presented was new Valuation of Land proposals to effect the VOL act. Both pieces will be debated later on.

In the Property tax proposals, Clause Six had alluded to land used for religious, education and charitable purposes. But following emailed queries, Imbert said the lengthy clause didn’t mean those locations would have to pay Property Tax. He said the clause was meant to “tidy up some typos in the original 2009/2010 act.”

Another main new aspect among the two proposed pieces of legislation involves a revamped format for the Valuation Return form on which property owners can list details about their property.

Asked what would happen to information submitted by owners in return forms last year—and if this information would be dumped and news forms would have to be submitted by home owners— Imbert said: “All information already in the system will be used to assist the process of assessment and valuation.”

Imbert did not respond on whether the new form will be mandatory or voluntary. When the first return forms were issued last year, the Opposition United National Congress challenged them legally and the court ruled that the forms should be submitted voluntarily rather than be mandatory.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Gail Alexander)

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