Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Revised property tax system to be debated in Parliament today

Published:Tuesday | April 4, 2017 | 4:52 AM

Government and Opposition lawmakers are set to clash at Gordon House today when the controversial revised property tax system comes up for a scheduled debate.

The Cabinet had its usual Monday meeting yesterday but up to last night there was no conclusion on the review that Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid promised would be done.

He told The Gleaner yesterday afternoon that the Government cannot change land valuations.

He said he would give an update tomorrow at a post-Cabinet press briefing but disclosed that any action to come would focus on how some groups can get relief.

Members of Parliament from both sides of the political divide are expected to trade arguments this afternoon when they start debate in the House of Representatives on two pieces of legislation.

The bills are An Act to Amend the Property Tax Act and An ACT to Amend the Land Valuation Act.

Those bills will formalise the 2013 land valuation rates that the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the Realtors’ Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association have been speaking out against.

The new rates took effect on Saturday and will result in about 65 per cent of property owners facing a range of increases.

The last valuation was done in 2002.