Grounds Invalidating The Current Property Tax Legislation

By Stephen Kangal
April 25, 2017

Stephen KangalTaking into account that the former late PM Manning’s 2009 Cabinet had a clear unwavering philosophy and intention that both Acts No 17 and 18 relating to the Property Tax, hurriedly passed without due consultations and proclaimed by 31st December 2009 would be strictly and rigidly implemented at the beginning of 2010, their non-implementation and associated factors have indeed now rendered the tax regime invalid, null and void and in need of re-submission to Parliament for the requisite amendments to be effected to remove the time-lines rigidities.

With an eye on brevity these are the brief listing of the grounds:

  • Both Acts are dated for implementation beginning 1 January 2010, have lapsed and consequently lost their internal coherence, chronology and sequence of events by 2017 militating against legal and proper enforcement and in need of urgent judicial review;
  • Previous property tax legislation have been prematurely repealed establishing a legal vacuum or lacuna without any Assessment Rolls being compiled by the Commissioner of Valuation that is conditional for effective start up;
  • The May 22nd deadline for owners of land to submit returns proclaimed by The Minister of Finance is a figment and fig-leaf of his imagination without legal basis;
  • Act No 18 is a violation of Sections 5 and 6 of the Constitution without being passed with the requisite Constitutional majority;
  • It is also an infringement of the Constitutional rights to property ownership/possession and not to be deprived thereof except by due process as well as the right to privacy;
  • Even if it complied with Sections 5 and 6 above, The Property Tax Act No 18 of 31st December 2009 is so draconian, oppressive, disruptive, denial of legitimate expectations, unilateral and an unprecedented quantum and astronomical percentage deviation from the prevailing tax norm that it fails and would fail the test of proportionality in a democratic T&T;
  • The prevailing, adverse, regressive and plummeting socio-economic ecology will reinforce the applicability of the above-mentioned proportionality factor that can be upheld in and by a Court of competent jurisdiction.

2 Responses to “Grounds Invalidating The Current Property Tax Legislation”

  • Most times, these Men/Women with all the Brains, bsc .ba/phd/Masters. forget to use Common sense. Everyone these days are EXPERTS, ON EVERYTHING. GMOs what do they do again. None of these BRAIN BUSTERS, FAIL to speak common Langues. Hey, people, all over the world, people have to pay Property TAX. you BUILD big HOUSES, PAY NOTHING, to your Government, some even build on other folks Land.—How you call that—{stealing} Now you are complainG about TAX.——–Trinidad/TOBAGO, ARE IN DENIAL.—SAD

    • The question is not willing to pay property tax. We have been paying that tax until 2009 when the Government repealed the two L&B and MCA Tax and the PNm’s Manning refused to implement his own Act No 18 of 2009 and left it to lapse
      The big issue is why a 6,000% increase in one fell swoop rather than incrementally and progressively since 1970?
      What about the substantive legitimate expectations that Imbert sowed in out minds on so many occasions?
      The issue is the sudden, unprecedented, illegal, astronomical increase using An Act that has lapsed effective 2011 and must be re-submitted for amendments in Parliament. This is callous and inhumane, was formerly rejected by the electorate in 2010 and is now being re-imposed to provoke the population into riots.

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