Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Tax collectors take aim at delinquent St Elizabeth property owners

Published:Monday | April 24, 2017 | 4:21 AM

Starting today, tax authorities and local government officials will be targeting delinquent property owners in St Elizabeth to collect arrears to help fill a $2 billion gap in the ministry's Budget.

St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon are the parishes with the lowest compliance levels.

Last week, Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, told journalists that the authorities will be combing through the parish for delinquent land owners.

He said they will also educate the residents of the parish on the need to pay their property taxes which fund things like garbage collection and street lighting.

 

Minister of local government, Desmond McKenzie

For the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the Government had projected $8.6 billion in collections with the implementation of a revised property tax system.

However, the projection had to be revised downwards to $6.5 billion after public outcry forced the Andrew Holness administration to reduce the rates used to calculate the tax.

That downward revision has resulted in a roughly $2 billion loss, which McKenzie says has affected the National Solid Waste Management Authority.

There is about $13.5 billion in property tax arrears.