Thursday 26 November, 2020

KPB pleads with gov’t: Hold your hand on property tax

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar is calling on the government to ‘hold their hand’ on implementing property tax to residential customers. 

Property tax is set to come on stream in January 2021 for residential properties first, according to Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert.  

Persad Bissessar explained that in the context of COVID-19 and the financial burdens placed on the populace, the government should reconsider the plan. 

“I’ve called on government repeatedly to hold their hand on property tax. We are currently facing a pandemic, thousands have lost jobs as I’ve explained, income and livelihoods,” she said. 

Sounding a warning for those currently paying rent for where they lived, Persad Bissessar said it’s likely that the already vulnerable could see hikes in their rental fees. 

“Those persons who are currently renting, take note. Your landlord will be required to pay property tax as the owner of the property but who do you think that extra cost will be passed on to?” she mused. 

Persad Bissessar argued that the government should be focusing their efforts on distributing the tax on commercial spaces instead of residential ones. 

“Why is the first line of tax against residential properties when these may be the most vulnerable of persons” 

“Why don’t we go at the industrial or the big commercial ones? Why go at the small man again?” she questioned. 

The Property Tax is a longstanding initiative in People’s National Movement led governments. All owners of commercial and residential properties will have their spaces valued by a state agency. A corresponding yearly tax will then be imposed.  

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