Realtors concerned about property tax increases
The Realtors Association of Jamaica (RAJ) is concerned about the manner in which increases are applied to property taxes.
Yesterday, the finance minister Audley Shaw announced a significant hike in property taxes which will take effect tomorrow.
Property taxes were last increased five years ago but the realtors association is proposing that the adjustments should be made over shorter periods.
According to the association’s president, Edwin Wint, the current increase over five years could appear draconian.
The property tax increases will result in the flat rate moving from $600 to $1,000 on properties with unimproved value up to $300,000.
Rates in respect of property with unimproved values exceeding $300,000 will now attract 0.75 per cent for every additional dollar, up from 0.5 per cent.
So for example, a property valued at $1 million will now attract $6,250 in taxes, up from $4,100.
A property valued at $10 million will now attract $73,750 in taxes, up from $49,100.
According to Mr Shaw, property taxes represent an important source of funding for local government activities.
He says there is currently a 55 per cent compliance rate but that will have to change.