Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Pro-rate property tax for things that work

Published:Tuesday | April 11, 2017 | 4:03 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have just come to the realisation that I am not really a homeowner, but I have entered the realm of being a renter from the Government of Jamaica.

With the recent increase in property taxes, I have come to the jolting awareness that I have acquired a second mortgage on my property that will never go away. I do appreciate the rationale behind the imposition of property taxes, but the problem is how the Government sought to execute the increases.

As a taxpayer, I need to see how my hard-earned funds will assist me. Property taxes fund the maintenance of street lighting and roads, but if non-property owners also benefit from the provision of these amenities, how equitable are property taxes? What percentage of the population can be classified as property owners who come within the target net?

And beyond that, the roads on which I drive have caverns in which I will one day disappear with the motor vehicle that I co-own along with my bank and make monthly payments and which is the subject matter of its own extensive list of taxes (which is another letter to the editor).

When I come home at nights, I live in fear because the street light that is 10 feet away from my driveway is temperamental and does not always see it fit to illuminate my driveway. I, however, cannot complain about my garbage collection, which is faithfully collected on a Monday or Tuesday.

Could I negotiate to have my property tax remain at the current rate to cover the costs of the garbage collection only, since the other amenities are not functioning? Can I put a proposal on the table for the pro-rating of my property taxes to cover the amenities that I want?

S. THOMPSON

Mona, Kingston 6