THE EDITOR: Our country has lost over $1 billion in revenues from not collecting property taxes.
A People’s Partnership government led by the United National Congress (UNC) campaigned on “Axe the Tax” in relation to property tax in 2010. This call was a push by the Congress of the People as a member of the partnership at the time.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar is now admitting that property tax is necessary and people should pay their taxes proudly as owners of property. This was said on a morning programme interview on Monday hosted by supporters and sympathisers of the UNC.
It is estimated that the Government has lost over $1 billion, as property taxes have not been collected since 2010. Citizens are now asking why the UNC continues to block the property tax in any form presented thus far, even though it represents a source of much needed revenue for the Government.
The UNC refused to collect property taxes during its five-year term and is now opposing the People’s National Movement Government as it seeks to do the responsible thing by reintroducing the tax.
A member of the UNC has taken to the courts to object to the valuation of properties as a measured way of administering the tax. The Minister of Finance has broken down the tax by giving an example of a property with a rental value of $3,000 paying $81 in property tax monthly.
This figure is more than reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.
Some are saying the UNC Opposition is simply being obstructionist in its approach to this issue. The non-progress of the country’s property tax collection seems to be a political agenda of the Opposition now in election campaign mode but this agenda will not benefit the citizens of TT.
On one hand there is a position being postulated by the UNC which purports to be in agreement with property taxes.
The tongue twisting comes from the non-alignment of the words and actions of the Opposition.
The citizens of this country cannot continue to sacrifice the much needed revenues from property taxes which had contributed to the economy for decades.
RONALD HUGGINS, social media officer, PNM