Nearly a decade after it was suspended the government is now preparing to resume property tax collection.
The validity of the tax has been challenged in the courts and many are still wary of the amended legislation.
But even in the face of widespread criticism, the government maintains the country's coffers stand to benefit.
According to well known chartered surveyor Afra Raymond, those with the most concern are afraid of what will come to light.
Government’s Property Tax will become due and payable on or before September of each year, Minister in Finance Allyson West said yesterday.
The collection deadline time of September came as West delivered a statement on the mid year-review in the Senate yesterday. It’s been speculated the tax might begin by September.
The Valuation of Land exercise to be done prior to Property Tax collection will first deal with people who have deeds and squatters who hold Certificates of Comfort—but those squatters who lack such certificates won’t be dealt with immediately.
Probably not for the next few years, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has estimated.
Imbert confirmed the entire situation in the Senate last Friday where amendments to the Property Tax Act were in final stage discussions.
Collection of tax begins with 50 per cent of all properties are valued and on the valuation rolls.
The Ministry of Finance says there is no intention by the government to introduce property tax retroactively for two years.
A statement issued by the ministry states that Finance Minister, Colm Imbert has noted concerns expressed in the Senate about the possible retroactive application of property tax for two years and wishes to make it clear that the Government has no plan to do this.
Ridiculous to have retroactive Property Tax!
That’s the view of Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika who, along with Independent Senator Stephen Creese, yesterday expressed concerns about retroactive property tax . That is, if the moratorium on the tax ends in September 2016 .
Concerns were expressed in the Senate as debate continued concerning amendments to the Property Tax Act.
The Ministry of Finance says that people who can satisfy the Board of Inland Revenue that they cannot pay Property Tax by reason of age, among other things, can have their payments deferred.
The Ministry issued a statement today in response to what it said was a misconception to a newspaper report related to pensioners paying property tax.
The following is the statement by the Ministry of Finance.
Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie says the Opposition wants to propose a number of significant amendments to the Property Tax Amendment Act 2018 and a moratorium on taxes because citizens are already overburdened.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Tewarie said this was the tenth tax measure levied on the population.
“The Minister of Finance presented this bill as if everything was fine and there was a consensus about it. I was certainly prepared to speak and I would have followed the AG if he had spoken,” Tewarie said of Friday’s debate on the bill.