Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Many owners to pay huge sums for property taxes as of April 1

Published:Wednesday | March 29, 2017 | 3:00 AMPaul Clarke

While the Government pushes ahead with plans to create what it says is a more equitable and modern tax system, thousands of individuals and entities have been learning they will this year be required to pay huge increases to Tax Administration Jamaica for the property they own.

In some cases, property owners will be facing increases of more than 800 per cent when taxes for the 2017-2018 financial year become due on April 1.

Earlier this month, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) was among the first to state its objections to the changes, following Finance Minister Audley Shaw's Budget presentation and a statement from his ministry which stressed that hundreds of thousands of property owners were set to benefit from a reduction in tax rate from the current range of 1.5 per cent to two per cent down to 0.8 per cent, with a cap at 1.3 per cent.

The Government stated that the reduced rate would see approximately 272,000 property owners benefiting from a reduction in property tax paid, or experiencing no change in the amount charged in 2016.

However, The Gleaner has viewed documentation showing a property owner, whose land carried a value of $5 million in 2016-17, seeing the property now being revalued at $63 million under the new tax computation. Having paid $94,500 in taxes in 2016-17, the property owner will now have to pay $778,400 in 2017-18, an increase of more than 800 per cent.

 

The following are other examples of how this new regime will affect some property owners:

- Property one - Paid $194,500 (2016-17); will pay $2,832,400 (increase of 1,456 per cent)

- Property two - Paid $234,500 (2016-17); will pay $2,728,400 (increase of 1,163 per cent)

- Property three - Paid $195,500 (2016-17); will pay $2,078,400 (increase of 1,063 per cent)

- Property four - Paid $414,500 (2016-17); will pay $2,780,400 (increase of 671 per cent)

- Property five - Paid $394,500 (2016-17); will pay $1,727,400 (increased of 438 per cent)

- Property six - Paid $154,500 (2016-17); will pay $739,400 (increase of 479 per cent)

- Property seven - Paid $124,500 (2016-17); will pay $531,400 (increase of 427 per cent)

- Property eight - Paid $90,500 (2016-17); will pay $336,900 (increase of 372 per cent)

- Property nine - Paid $44,500 (2016-17); will pay $89,900 (increase of 202 per cent)

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com