Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Portia's worth soars - Tavistock Terrace property likely worth $30m or more, says expert

Published:Thursday | July 28, 2016 | 7:00 AMEdmond Campbell
A view of Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller’s house on Tavistock Terrace, Kingston.
A view from the front of Portia Simpson Miller's house on Tavistock Terrace, Kingston.
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The Tavistock Terrace property owned by Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller could push the value of her total assets to as high as $55 million.

Ever since Simpson Miller unveiled to the media the contents of her report to the Integrity Commission of Parliament earlier this year, there has been intense debate about the approximately $15 million in liquid assets reported by the former prime minister to the oversight body.

Yesterday, an experienced real estate dealer provided an estimated value of the Upper St Andrew property.

The dealer, who asked not to be named, said the property could value between $30 million and $40 million based on the landscape, the grounds, and its upkeep.

A Gleaner team visited the Tavistock property on Tuesday and found significant overgrowth of weeds and grass at the premises.

Parliamentarians are required to make annual submissions of their statutory declarations of assets, liabilities, and income to the Integrity Commission.

Section 38 (1) of the Integrity Act states that a statutory declaration shall include particulars as are known to the declarant of the income, assets, and liabilities of the spouse and children.

This suggests that Simpson Miller could have also made a separate report to the commission on the assets, income, and liabilities owned by her husband, Errald Miller.

In 2014, head of the Integrity Commission, Justice Paul Harrison, urged a joint select committee of Parliament, which considered the Integrity Commission Act 2014, to remove the words "as are known" from Section 38 (1), noting that some parliamentarians refused to furnish their spouse's information, claiming, "I do not know, and I am not aware".

To date, three parliamentarians have disclosed to the media their reports to the Integrity Commission. The other two are Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Member of Parliament for St Andrew South East Julian Robinson.