By Stephen Kangal
December 27, 2009
Here was Minister Colm Imbert at his arrogant worse spewing loud and rapid dragon-fire and non-supportable and baseless brimstone in the House as he wallowed in half-lies, untruths and innuendoes in his PT speech on Monday. As I sat in the public gallery and was inflicted with this spectacle, I agonized loudly: How could Mr. Speaker allow his House to be brought into such disdainful odium and total disrepute in the eyes of citizenry by sanctioning Imbert’s loud shouting, his comic antics, his peacock arrogance and his demeaning undiplomatic remarks directed at the Opposition members? His behaviour was nothing short of “waganry” at its sordid and obscene worst.
It appears that the strategy of the Government side on Monday was to concentrate exclusively and deceptively on the percentage reduction of 3% on houses and to de-link it from the astronomical and escalating increases in the current rental/capital values. For them including fledging Finance Minister Tesheira, the percentage rate decrease (7 to 3%) was all that mattered. Every government speaker projected the measure as a caring revenue-reduction measure even though Imbert’s latest revenue projection is now $500m (500,000 properties x $1000) and counting.
But the PT will be determined/calculated by the applicable new rates applied to the current market determined astronomical rental and capital taxable values. Both are two sides of the same property tax coin. They cannot and must not be separated or considered in isolation in the interest of truth and honesty.
But here was Peter Taylor quantifying the total PT intake at $250m and Imbert doing the same at $500m on the same day in the same place within hearing and contradicting each other in their vaunted ignorance. Imbert’s hugely under-estimated average annual PT of $1000.00 applied to 500,000 properties and counting gives the figure of at least $500m. No one including the Opposition brought into the mix the 250,000 unassessed, unlisted non-tax-paying new and palatial properties in T&T today that will be brought into the PT additional fiscal bonanza in 2010.
Imbert compared current ( based on 2002- 2004) valuations with his false, new vastly 60%- reduced projected PT figures for certain properties in San Fernando. He based these new 2010 PT on the same existing 2004 valuation. But he deliberately and dishonestly ignored the fact that the hugely different and astronomically high and different 2009/10 valuations of properties will be used to determine the 2010 PT in San Fernando- not the current 2004 valuations.
Minister Colm Imbert was intent in achieving a bull-dozing, brambling and bamboozling theatrical con-job energised by and exulting in his own, uniquely comical delusions of grandeur/erudition that cannot stand up to and impress sane, unemotional and rational public scrutiny. The most comical rope has an end to it.
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