26/06/2018 – The Trinidad Guardian. / Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday accused the Opposition of making the Property Tax issue a political mayhem and misleading the population.
Rowley made the statement during his contribution on the Corporation Tax Bill in Parliament, as he said the United National Congress was now carrying on about Property Tax as though it was “leprosy.”
Noting he had been paying taxes since the age of 17, Rowley said when his grandfather first gave him two and a half acres of land in Tobago he knew he had to pay a tax of $1.44 cents.
“I knew I had to pay it …because if I didn’t pay it there would be certain consequences. They (UNC) making a political mayhem out of that …misleading the people in this country. But at the same time they foregoing billions of dollars in Property Tax, they borrowing money to fund a budget with a deficit.”
Rowley said in the five years the People’s Partnership was in power they ran deficit budgets.
“But at the same time, their philosophy on taxation does not allow them to collect the Property Tax which has been in the law since 2009.”
Between 2010 and 2015, Rowley said the PP gave a waiver on the controversial tax.
“On the way out of office in 2015 they killed off the waiver and they knew…they said to the country come January 2016 you would be paying that tax. You know they are now opposing it and saying that when they come back into office, God forbid, they will abolish it.”
During a recent Monday Night Forum, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar promised that if they get back into the power they would repeal the Property Tax.
Rowley said for the UNC to make such a statement “them is people to watch.”