Minister: No suspension of the deployment of the property tax | Local company

THE government will not suspend its rollout of property tax, Government Minister Allyson West has said.

In November 2021, the government extended the deadline for submitting the property assessment declaration form to January 31, 2022.

Failure to submit the form is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of $5,000 under Section 32 of the Assessment Act.

Growing Concerns

During yesterday’s sitting in the Senate, Opposition Senator Wade Mark said that given growing public concern over the government’s fast-track initiative to fill the property assessment roll, the Minister could advise if the government will consider suspending the filing of property and land ownership information.

“Madam Chair, the government has no intention of suspending the collection and filing of property declarations as it would waste scarce resources, time and effort,” West said.

West, the Minister for Public Administration, has said, as reflected in Section 78 of the Local Government Reform Bill currently before Parliament, that the government intends to empower public enterprises local authorities, regardless of political affiliation, to collect and retain residential property tax. This measure is designed to provide local communities with a significant and sustainable revenue stream for their projects and programs, she said.

“Any decision to suspend the population process from assessment rolls would therefore undermine this initiative and weaken the local government reform process,” she said.

Mark asked if the government intends to allocate 100% of property tax to local government agencies. West said she didn’t give a percentage, but reiterated the intent was to allocate residential property tax to local government.

Minimum number

valuations

Mark asked what it would take for the government to reconsider its position in seeking to impose this ‘draconian’ property tax that the people cannot afford.

Kangaloo said this question was not allowed. In response to further questions, West said she was unable to provide information on when the assessment roll population will be completed.

She said the current exercise is ongoing and at the end of the period “we would be in a better position to indicate when we believe we have obtained the minimum number of assessments required to begin property tax collection.”

Last November, responding to an urgent question in Parliament from Chief Opposition Whip David Lee, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the Department of Finance’s Valuation Division had not received the 200,000 forms of assessment necessary to proceed with the implementation of the property tax.

Imbert then said the total number of returns for residential properties at that time was 165,000.

He said that by law, the government must reach 200,000 before the process of implementing the property tax can begin.