Minister of Finance Colm Imbert. Photo: Parliament of T&T
By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE collection of property tax will commence in 2021, according to Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
He said an online system was being developed for the submission of information by property owners.
He gave history of the much-debated tax as he read the national Budget in Parliament on Monday.
Imbert said, “The Property Tax, a newly instituted tax administration system will be further consolidated with the commencement of the Property Tax Regime in Financial Year 2021. The Property Tax Act was assented to on December 31, 2009.
“At about the same time that the Property Tax Act was passed, substantial amendments were made to the Valuation of Land Act by Act No. 17 of 2009. 22 These two pieces of legislation are intended to provide a comprehensive tax regime under management of a single assessment agency and a single collection agency to replace the former system of lands and building taxes and house rates which produced inconsistent and inequitable consequences and was not being administered efficiently or effectively in accordance with the statutory provisions.”
Imbert said the Government was working towards to produce the required Valuation Roll, but with numerous challenges and to expedite the process and validate the information on the Valuation Roll, the Commissioner of Valuation will in the near future be making mandatory requests of property owners under Section 29 of the Valuation of Land Act for the provision of information in an appropriate format.
Imbert said, “The objective is to commence the collection of property tax in fiscal 2021, starting with residential properties, and we continue to assure property owners that the rates of this tax will be both fair and reasonable and will not present an onerous burden on them. The taxation of commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties will follow, in that order.”