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Filing Property Tax valuation very onerous

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The government has given homeowners one month to file a valuation return for the first time.

The process is onerous and will be a source of great grief and stress for many. There is a requirement for homeowners to attach copies of 13 documents to their returns.

Even though the valuation form states to append “copies of as many supporting documents as possible,” telephone calls revealed that homeowners must eventually submit ALL documents.

Of course, they do not tell you how soon is “eventually.’” It could be one month after the May 22 deadline.

Why the fuss? It is easy to submit T&TEC and WASA bills, previous land and building taxes receipts, a photograph of the exterior of the property, certificate of title, and even a rent/lease agreement.

How on earth, however, can a homeowner get a land survey plan, site plan, building plan, sketch of building, a completion certificate, town and country planning approval (status of land) and town and country planning approved use (change of use), for a property they did not build?

I do not envy people who own property built by the HDC, but purchased from previous owners. They will be up a creek in trying to get a building plan, town and country planning approvals, land survey plans and so on.

The government does not care what kind of stress we must go through to get these documents in one month’s time.

There is one line on the form (item #4(c)) that asks “if occupied by owner or relatives, rental value thereof $...”.

The homeowner is supposed to put a rental value on their own property!

Isn’t that supposed to be the job of the Commissioner of Valuations? How is a citizen supposed to know the rental value of their property?

That is real back-to-front thinking by the government and mamaguism at its best! That one line goes contrary to everything the government had told us previously.

I strongly urge all citizens to download the Valuation of Land Act - Chapter 58:03; the Valuation of Land (Amendment) Act - No. 17 of 2009; and the Property Tax Act - Chapter 76:04 and read them.

In time to come, there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Economically, things are about to get worse in T&T.

Linus F Didier

Mt Hope


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