Wicked and unjust - Opposition says new property tax rates to drive up rent costs

March 31, 2017
This resident speaks about living condition in Allman Town, Kingston.

There is a warning from the parliamentary Opposition that the cost of rent should spike if the Government fails to roll back increases in property taxes, which take effect tomorrow.

"There is going to be the domino effect of a spike in the cost to those living in rented houses and a hardening of relationship between tenants and their landlords," Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns, opposition spokesperson on land and the environment, said.

With the implementation of the new rates, some 65 per cent of taxpayers will be hit with an increase, some said to be greater than 1,000 per cent.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw has said that some 272,347 landowners will pay less property taxes or the same amount of property taxes as they did last year. Frazer-Binns said that the increase in property taxes will have an impact on the ability of the poorest Jamaicans to buy a house or land.

"To increase property tax at this rate at a time when so many persons are already overburdened with other taxes is wicked, immoral, unjust and borders on being inhumane," she said.

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