Today, we begin a new feature on property-tax collection across the island. Check out the news pages over the next few weeks to see how well or poorly your parish has been performing in this area.
WHAT WOULD you do with $494 million? Go on a European tour, purchase a beach-front property, and a host of other things, right?
Well, the St Ann Parish Council is badly in need of this outstanding amount in property tax. It wants landowners to pay up so the council can address garbage collection, street lighting, and pay attention to other business within the parish.
The arrears for property-tax payment in St Ann have almost tripled in six years, moving from $40.2 million per year in 2006-2007 to $111.2 million in 2012-2013, for an overall arrears total of $494.3 million over the period. St Ann has the sixth-highest arrears of all parishes.
Mayor of St Ann's Bay Desmond Gilmore said while he did not believe that property owners were opposed to paying the tax, the compliance rate is higher among the business community.
He has urged persons who have outstanding amounts to fulfil their obligations, which will ultimately benefit the parish.