Bunting Defends PNP’s Handling of 2013 Property Tax Hike

The Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting, says the PNP administration did nothing wrong when it imposed higher property taxes in 2013.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw had accused the previous government of gazetting the new property tax rates without getting the approval of Parliament.

However, Mr. Bunting says it’s a routine practice of governments to raise taxes and then validate them later.

This was the allegation from Minister Shaw in Parliament on Tuesday.

But, Mr. Bunting says Minister Shaw did the same thing for another tax only two weeks ago.

He says the practice is routine.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bunting is responding to criticisms of the PNP’s opposition to the new property taxes.

The PNP has accused the government of raising property taxes in order to pay for its income tax break, under which an additional 400-thousand Jamaicans will no longer pay income tax this year.

The government claims the two measures are not linked, as property tax revenues go directly to funding local government activities, such as paying for street lights and community beautification.

However, Mr. Bunting says while that may be true in theory, it doesn’t always work that way.

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