Category Archives: Property Tax

The Only Solution

By Raffique Shah
October 04, 2021

Raffique ShahI am writing this column before Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivers his Budget speech and announces measures that government intends to employ to finance its operations over the 2021-2022 fiscal year. What I write here is not new. Other commentators, economists, politicians and informed citizens will have said or written scholarly critiques of the economy, offloaded tonnes of advice and mountains of metrics on the minister.
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Criminalizing Civil Infractions

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 27, 2021

“All advanced legal systems condemn as criminal the sorts of conduct described in the Anglo-American law as treason, murder, aggravated assault, thievery, robbery, burglary, and rape.”

Encyclopedia Britannica

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI always wonder why an inefficient government demands that its citizens be efficient when it represents the epitome of inefficiency. Recently, the government put out its regulations regarding its intention to collect “Property Tax” which requires “that every person in possession of residential land, commercial land, agricultural land or a combination of any of the above (mixed use) in Trinidad and Tobago furnish a return containing the particulars…on or before 30th November 2021.” Failure to comply with the requirement constitutes “a criminal offence which is punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000).”
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Valuation Division off on wrong foot

By Raffique Shah
June 15, 2018

Raffique ShahOftentimes, civic and professional organisations that stay aloof of the political mud-wrestling that has long been the dominant feature of our parliamentary system, provide citizens with greater clarity on legislation that impact our lives than our warring politicians do.

Such is the case with the controversial Property Tax Act and its many amendments. On every occasion that the legislation has come before Parliament, it has generated a fish-market-like cacophony and wild fear-mongering to the extent that an entire general election campaign (2010) was conducted on the theme “axe the tax”, and the Manning government fell, albeit on issues wider and larger than the tax.
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Shelve property tax as energy revenue rises

By Gail Alexander
May 10, 2018 – guardian.co.tt

Opposition Chief Whip David LeeThe Government should not institute the property tax since Finance Minister Colm Imbert recently said T&T has “turned the corner” and also projected “good news” in today’s mid-year Budget review, says Opposition Chief Whip David Lee.

“He has painted a more positive outlook for T&T in recent weeks. Also, energy prices are better than before. If the situation is really good, Government should have no need to pursue the property tax and inflict further hardship on the public,” Lee said yesterday.
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Another Imbertian Bungling on The Property Tax

By Stephen Kangal
September 11, 2017

Stephen KangalMinister of Finance Colm Imbert is bent on foisting another layer of ministerial-imposed, badly- conceptualised tax bureaucracy on the hapless and besieged expansive property – owning class of Trinbago by his most recent concoction of a new land- tax regime to temporarily replace the still-legally admissible 2009 Property Tax Act. This Tax Regime has been the Achilles Heel of the PNM in that they bungled its implementation since Proclamation on 31st December 2009.
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Was the Valuation of Property Scheme Really Voluntary?

By Stephen Kangal
July 20, 2017

Stephen KangalThe last minute submission/alibi by SC Deborah Peake to the San Fernando High Court presided over by Mr Justice Frank Seepersad on May 19 that the valuation exercise was voluntary was indeed rejected as unconvincing and inadmissible by the Judge who proceeded to grant the injunction requested.
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Imbert Misled Parliament on First Phase of The Property Tax

By Stephen Kangal
July 12, 2017

Stephen KangalTaking into account the startling but incredible disclosures made by the Acting Commissioner of Valuation, Mr Baldeo Ramoutar in his 21st June affidavit filed in the San Fernando High Court, it appears to be pellucidly clear that the Minister of Finance, Mr Colm Imbert deliberately and knowingly misled and misinformed Parliament on the measures being undertaken for the first phase implementation of the Property Tax regime.
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Don’t nail judge to race-cross

By Raffique Shah
May 30, 2017

Raffique ShahFor some time now I have sounded warnings to our tribal leaders, more specifically those in the frontline of the United National Congress, that they are playing with fire by fanning the embers of racial strife that could easily ignite. While we have enjoyed relative harmony in a world wracked by ethnic and religious strife, the absence of war between the two main tribes in this country does not necessarily mean peace.
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Looking for the justification of the May 22/June 5 Deadlines?

By Stephen Kangal
June 09, 2017

Stephen KangalThe Minister of Finance had pulled out of a hat a May 22nd deadline for the submission of the illegal return forms(VRF’s) to the offices of the Valuation Division.

He had further compounded the debacle by extending it to June 5 because Cabinet decided so. Since when Cabinet has to sanction and approve a voluntary exercise that is the sole prerogative of the Commissioner of Valuations?
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Property Tax forms can be submitted/collected

Justice Seepersad overruled again: Appeal Court makes new order

By Rickie Ramdass
June 07, 2017 – trinidadexpress.com

THE Court of Appeal has overturned another ruling of Justice Frank Seepersad, this one involving whether the State could continue to accept Property Tax valuation forms from citizens.

This morning, the Appeal Court ruled that Seepersad should not have granted an interim stay on the collection process but that the substantive matter for judicial review is still on.
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