Interest groups satisfied with revised property tax regime
The powerful interest groups that led public calls for the Government to review the revised property tax regime implemented on April 1 are expressing satisfaction with the changes announced yesterday, which will see a fall in rates and the level of increases.
The Andrew Holness administration has been under pressure from the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and the Realtors’ Association of Jamaica, along with farmers and fixed-income earners such as pensioners to re-examine the regime.
The previous rates saw some persons with property tax increases of more than 1,000 per cent.
JMA president, Metry Seaga, says he applauds the finance minister for listening to the cries of Jamaicans and practising good governance.
Meanwhile, the president of the JHTA, Omar Robinson, had instructed his members not to pay their property taxes in defiance of the March 9 announcement.
Reacting yesterday, to the rollback yesterday, he told The Gleaner that he will have to check how members feel but a reduction is welcome.
The Realtors’ Association’s Edwin Wint says he no longer expects a significant number of real estate owners to sell off their properties to cover the higher taxes.
In a statement to the House of Representatives yesterday, finance minister, Audley Shaw said a flat rate of $1,000 will be kept on all properties with a value up to $400,000.
Shaw pointed out that the government has introduced a progressive tax regime above the flat rate with eight bands ranging from a low of 0.5 per cent to a high of 0.9 per cent.
He stated that this is a big reduction from the tax rates announced recently that ranged from 0.8 per cent to a high of 1.3 per cent of the land value.