Camille Tracey, Gleaner Intern
Opposition senator Robert Montague on Friday moved a motion in the upper house for the increase in property tax be delayed until September 1.
Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips had announced last month of an increase in property tax rates, which would come into effect on April 1.
During the sitting of the upper house on Friday, Montague described the increases as burdensome, callous and cruel to pensioners, government workers, minimum wage earners and other fixed-income persons.
He recommended that the effective date of implementation be suspended until the new valuation rates are announced, at which time the Government must remain flexible to reduce the rates of the property taxes and for a simple, accountable and a transparent system of relief be put in place to bring relief to pensioners, minimum wage earners, government workers, and the poor and vulnerable.
The opposition senator urged the Government to continue the programme for increased compliance in payment of property tax by landowners, which was started by the last administration and which saw an increase in compliance from 39 per cent to 50 per cent over a three-year period.
Montague further called on the Government to continue the previous administration's programme to extend garbage collection and street lighting, services paid for by property taxes, to more communities, especially in rural areas and housing schemes.
Property tax is a tax levied on property owners to provide revenue for the provision of public community amenities provided by the local government.