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Government aims to collect outstanding property taxes

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Government will be taking steps in 2011 to collect outstanding property taxes.{{more}}

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, made the disclosure on Monday during the presentation of his 2011 budgetary address.

He announced the proposed action, saying that the existing level of compliance for the payment of property taxes is relatively low.

Meanwhile, he said a revaluation of all properties throughout the country had been carried out over the last two years.

According to the prime minister, this was done with the intention of introducing a new market value based assessment which would replace the annual rental value assessment.

“This revaluation exercise is complete, and we now have a data base showing the market value of every property in the state,” Gonsalves explained.

According to the prime minister, the number of properties identified in the revaluation exercise amounted to 40,700, up from 25,940 or an increase of 57 per cent, of those on the existing valuation lists.

He, however, explained that the government was not yet in a position to implement this new measure due to the significant legislative changes that would be required to introduce the new system.

“Accordingly, a decision has been taken to continue with the annual rental value assessment for the time being,” the prime minister said.

Gonsalves further said that government has updated the assessment for all properties to reflect the increases in rental values since the previous valuation in the 1990s.

These updated lists are expected to be published soon, and property owners will have an opportunity to appeal should there be any disagreements in the ascribed value, the prime minister said.

He also noted that it is estimated that the additional revenue to be realized in 2011 through the increase in rental value, the increase in the number of properties, improved compliance and collection of arrears is $3.4 million. (DD)

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