The Trinidad Guardian / Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie says the Opposition wants to propose a number of significant amendments to the Property Tax Amendment Act 2018 and a moratorium on taxes because citizens are already overburdened.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Tewarie said this was the tenth tax measure levied on the population.
“The Minister of Finance presented this bill as if everything was fine and there was a consensus about it. I was certainly prepared to speak and I would have followed the AG if he had spoken,” Tewarie said of Friday’s debate on the bill.
Tewarie said among the issues he wanted to highlight was the fact that there was “no greater clarity” on how the tax would be calculated.
“Although the Finance Minister used the example of a $3000 rental property, he did not explain how that would be calculated. I don’t know about the authenticity or the reasonableness of the methodology in calculating the tax,” Tewarie said.
He said the Opposition was also prepared to propose a one per cent tax on non-productive agricultural land only, but only after a four-year period.
Tewarie said Government “gave a set of incentives” for agriculture in the last budget, but said “giving incentives on the one hand and taxation on the other” was counterproductive. He said the proposed one per cent tax would give farmers an opportunity to bring unproductive lands to productive use after four years.
Saying Government’s proposed tax of three per cent to home owners could be steep depending on the calculation system, Tewarie said the Opposition wanted to put forward a two per cent tax to be phased in over four years.
“We wanted also that people could make partial payments,” Tewarie added.
He said the Opposition also wanted to propose a four per cent reduction on taxes on commercial properties which would be phased in over four years.
“A member of the constituency told me the PNM ‘make this place hard like banga.’ So you can’t just come and drop a tax like that. The amendments does not make any distinction between commercial properties and residential commercial properties, so we wanted that distinction to be clear and we wanted that phased in as well,” Tewarie added.
Still no clarity on how tax will be calculated
Con Información de The Trinidad Guardian
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