Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Property tax crackdown - Government to fast-track selling land of delinquent owners

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2017 | 1:37 AMEdmond Campbell
Shaw

Landowners whose property taxes are in arrears for at least four years could have their land sold by the Government to recover the outstanding amounts.

Finance and the Public Service Minister Audley Shaw yesterday tabled the Tax Collection (Amendment) Act, 2017, in Parliament, which provides for orders of sale and forfeiture in respect of land on which four years of property taxes are owing.

The proposed legislation gives the commissioner general the authority to apply to the Supreme Court for an order of sale under the Property Tax Act.

PUBLIC AUCTION

Where an order for sale of land is made under the proposed law, the sale shall be conducted by public auction in a time and manner prescribed by the court.

The legislation states that any person may bid for the land.

The Tax Collection (Amend-ment) Act, 2017, also gives the minister of finance and the public service the discretion to provide remission in the payment of property taxes for pensioners, the destitute and disabled persons.

In order to give effect to the proposed amendments, other pieces of companion legislation will have to receive passage from the House of Representatives. The companion measures are an Act to Amend the Property Tax Act and an Act to Amend the Land Valuation Act.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com