Tue | Jan 22, 2019

No property tax increase - Phillips

Published:Wednesday | February 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

FINANCE AND PLANNING Minister Dr Peter Phillips has moved to allay fears that the Government would increase the rates of property taxes in the new financial year.

In a statement to the House of Representatives yesterday, Phillips said there were no plans to hike the rates of property taxes in the 2015-2016 financial year.

With compliance rates in the payment of property taxes for the 2013-2014 fiscal year coming out at 45 per cent and a projected 40 per cent for the current financial year, Phillips said the Government would be taking legislation to Parliament to encourage compliance.

He said the Property Tax Act (Amendments) would be tabled early in the new legislative year to give the fiscal authorities the power to introduce specific measures that should result in an increase in property tax compliance.

The Gleaner had reported that land owners could pay increased property taxes in the upcoming fiscal year.

The increases had been expected to flow from the completion of a land-revaluation exercise carried out by the National Land Agency (NLA).

Alwyn Hales, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Water, Land and Climate Change, had indicated that the way had been cleared for Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) to determine the new property tax rates based on the new land values.

"The (property) revaluation has been done and all information has been updated, so what is to happen now is for the TAJ to determine the new tax rates, according to the valuations, because it is the minister of finance who sets those rates," Hales said. "When that is done, then the notices will be sent out to property owners and they will know the new rates as well as the new valuations."