OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the government not to implement the property tax.
Speaking on Friday in Parliament in her response to the 2020/2021 Budget, she said, “I have called on the Government repeatedly to hold their hands on the property tax.
“We are currently facing a pandemic where thousands of people have lost their jobs, incomes, and livelihoods.”
In his presentation of the budget on Monday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said government was moving to the mandatory implementation of the property tax starting with residential properties.
Persad-Bissessar said, “Why is the first line of attack residential, when these are the most vulnerable persons? Why don’t we go industrial, and the big commercial properties? Why we must go after the small man again?
“You have a public servant who built their house over a time. Why do you want to advantage him at this time?”
She said even squatters would have to pay property tax and claimed that landlords will pass on the cost of the tax to their tenants.
Persad-Bissessar said, “I am informed that there is a shortcut method right now that is ongoing for the valuation exercise.
“Even if you did not fill out your valuation return form, the government is engaging in curbside valuations – they are standing up by the road and assessing your home.
“In other words, they are doing a maco valuation.”