As the Axe the Tax March gets set for Woodford Square on Saturday, this blog decided to clear the air on the not-so-new property tax that has angered homeowners into an angry fireball. Citizens, despite cursing and more cursing, were about to resign themselves to paying the much higher property tax when, out of nowhere, a flagpole appeared. Here is the untold story about that property tax.
1. Who is responsible for valuing my property?
2. Is Property Tax a new tax?
No, but they way you will feel about it will be new, especially after you get your first tax bill.
3. How is the value of my property calculated?
It depends on the design, room space, quality of utilities, party affiliation.
4. Do all properties in Trinidad and Tobago have rental value?
5. Will all properties on the same street have the same value?
No, and as we said before in 3, it depends
6. What is my Annual Rental Value?
The value of what the Government feels is your monthly rental times twelve.
7. How much tax will I have to pay?
As much as the Government feels you could afford.
8. Do owners of Government Houses have to pay property tax?
Yes but the value will be a mere pittance compared to those who by nature of their politics were unable to get Government housing.
9. What will the money collected from property tax be used for?
Mainly San Fernando Hill and flagpoles.
10. Should I get angry with the Government for taxing me more despite the blatant wastage of taxpayer’s money over the years and well into the foreseeable future?
No, because the Government promise to keep San Fernando Hill looking pretty
11. How did the Government decide on how much to increase my property tax by?
The New Property Tax came to the Minister of Finance when she heard a scream while looking at a football match that was being played on, of all things, a level playing field. It appeared that in a nearby room, a typical middle class home owner was being routinely interrogated by the revenue authority to determine how much more he could give the Government without dieing and he screamed out a value of 3% times ARV less 10% during the waterboading episode. The Minister, desperate for ideas, heard the screams and created the tax.
12. What can the taxpayer look forward to in the New Year?
Quite a bit; the Government plans to get blood from the middle class stones in the following year.
This wasn’t supposed to be a promo for Jumbie’s blog, which I regularly visit, but when a blogger‘s comments are featured so prominently in the printed daily newspaper then there is cause for celebration. Jumbie is on the outside looking in and he sees local happenings in sometimes a different light to those on the inside stuck in traffic. What may also surprise and excite Jumbie is that his comments were posted very close to a photo of The Minister of Finance.
I think blogs are the new media and it is not concentrated single source media but scattered and diverse. Not all blogs will find favor with everybody but blogs build communities and collectively, they can be a force to recon with. Global Voices has that concept and I think it is the right one. I am not suggesting blogs will replace traditional media but it brings a different life to issues that may never have been represented before.
I regularly visit many blogs by local bloggers but don’t always comment because sometimes I just don’t know what to say that would add to the blog. Sometimes I am just too tired. There are probably millions of blogs out there but I prefer local bloggers since they are easier to relate to even on foreign topics. I list some of the blogs I regularly visit in no particular random, alphebetial order below. I know when there are list the ones not listed are sometimes offended but the list is not complete and will be updated as I remember and/or shouted at by friendly, disgruntled bloggers. Getting a point across is what bloggers should always try to do.
The Heritage and Stabilization Fund of Trinidad and Tobago, or fondly called the National Piggybank, is like a hundred dollar bill and once you break it, it may disappear in Miami. The fund is fortunately controlled by law and a five member Board with proven competence in the fields of finance, investment, economics, business management or law, including an officer of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance. Non-supporters of PM PM or critics of Early CL Financial Withdrawals by those who knew will not normally be considered for membership to this five-member Board regardless of competence in the stated fields. However, an exception will be made for those who have a yacht and high-rise apartment in Miami bought with deadly and sensual money.
The Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre
The Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre or The Real Central Bank will be launched soon now that the South terminal at Piarco International Airport has been upgraded to the standards demanded by the Important but Greedy People Who Want to Get Their Hands on Our Funds and also now that the top of Number One Woodbrook Place can be seen by all common people even on a cloudy, and floodless day. Big names with private jets and helicopters and who can pass the litmus integrity test set by our President of Integrity and nasal tones are practically banging The Minister of Finance‘s Door to get into the TTIFC. According to a report in the Trinidad Guardian on May 14th 2009, the clientele of the TTIFC will be persons who own private jets, whose currency is time and they have to maximise use of their time. “So private jets are not a luxury but a necessity for people like that.” If they could have a private jet who is he to not.
Budget for 2010
The Budget for 2010 will be unleashed in Parliament tomorrow and in keeping with developed nation wannabe status there will be no excessive spending except for the excessive spending was committed to in back rooms some time ago. Both the rich man and the poor people with Audis and BMWs will be asked to pay more at the pump which will make pumping even more expensive. An Obama-type tax on the rich will be introduced but not to better the lot of the poor. This new Trini-tax will help fund the shortfall in kickbacks due to the recession and also facilitate vital social programs like reelection of the ruling party and helicopters. The Budget 2010 will see words of caution, hope and as usual, will have plenty Hart.