THE EDITOR, Sir:
I read two articles in this week's Gleaner which gave me cause for great concern for the hard-working taxpayers/property owners/farmers in this country. The first one had to do with praedial larceny (those who seek to reap what they have not sown), and the other was regarding the increase in property tax.
Apart from the obvious thieves, there are those persons who are called tenants who refuse to pay their rent. Those, in my opinion, are another type of thief. These individuals are aware that when they are taken to court, leniency is always in their favour.
Recently, I accompanied a friend to court to seek a ruling for rent which a tenant has not paid in more than a year. You can imagine how shocked I was when the judge instructed my friend to return to court in one month's time with proof that she was not paid. How on earth can that be done? I thought she would have instructed the tenant to bring her receipt as proof of payment.
In addition to that, the tenant told the judge that she has the money in her bank account. I thought the judge would have instructed her to "go draw the lady money and give her".
Sitting in that courtroom, many things crossed my mind as I listened to case after case. A man was brought to court because he owed money on a pig he purchased. Another was brought to court because he did not complete payment for yams. One woman was there for not compensating a man for injuries which she inflicted on him. Another lady was there for not paying rent for more than a year while the owner is paying a loan on the property.
No case was settled that day. Everyone was told to return to court. I consider this quite a waste of time. The point is how property owners are going to pay these taxes if they cannot collect their rent and collect for their crops and livestock. There does not seem to be speedy justice through the court system.
Lawd, help us!
Portmore, St Catherine