THE EDITOR, Sir:
People who pay property tax in this country are being shafted. To be more precise, I am being shafted.
The Tax Administration website states: "Property taxes are used to finance property-related services in communities throughout Jamaica." The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) website quotes its mission is: "To meet the local needs of the citizens of Kingston & St Andrew by providing effective and efficient services to enhance their quality of life."
Which services and in which community, I ask? Not mine!
These are but a few of the services I'd love to see provided in my community in return for my property tax payments:
A road that is a road and not a series of potholes.
The machete-wielding 'madman' who lives on a sidewalk with increasing mounds of garbage - and I would suppose meets his hygienic needs unhygienically in the bushes - be provided an appropriate home and given medical treatment so that he may live with dignity as a human being.
The owners of the tractor trailer who park it in a residential area cited and the truck removed.
The commercial shops and sidewalk vendors selling mangoes, sweets and other items in residential areas cited and removed.
The enforcement of existing traffic laws to penalise and discourage strangers parking their cars and creating traffic hazards so that they can use my community as a public exercise park, instead of homeowners having to erect barricades of rocks and other materials to do the job.
Bushes cleared from open lots so that pedestrians can once again walk on the sidewalk instead of the road.
Absentee owners found and fined for not keeping their lots cleared
Squatters removed, especially those who throw up illegal power connections and cause outages for the legal members of the community removed.
Any time now, I'm going to get a reminder in the mail to pay my property tax. I am faithful to my civic duty and I pay my taxes. The KSAC, in return, has an obligation to provide the services in exchange for my tax dollars. That is its civic duty and the exercise it should promote in my community.