The Opposition People’s National Party, PNP, is criticizing the government, saying the massive increases in property taxes are causing ‘tremendous hardship’ and ‘dislocation’.
PNP President, Dr. Peter Phillips, says what’s happening is a ‘failure of policy implementation’.
His criticism comes as many people have been shocked by the huge increases in property taxes they’ll be facing come April 1.
Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, has described the government’s move to calculate property taxes for the 2017/2018 financial year based on a 2013 valuation as ‘decisive’.
But it’s causing many people to pay much more in taxes.
The new PNP President says it’s causing hardship.
Property taxes were previously being calculated using an old valuation from 2002, 15 years ago.
Dr. Phillips says the government could’ve phased-in the measure.
The previous administration in which he served as Finance Minister did not implement new property tax rates using the 2013 land valuation.
Dr. Phillips — who’s also the Opposition Spokesman on Finance — says while the valuation was done in 2013, a report on it was not completed until 2015.
Minister Shaw says persons whose lands are used for agricultural production can apply for a 50-percent relief of the annual tax.
But Dr. Phillips says that’s not enough.