“The doctor say to pay as you earn

But Sparrow say you paying to learn

And meh father say he sharpening the axe

For when the collector come to pay off the income tax.”

—Mighty Sparrow (1959)

IN 2017, I submitted a return for property tax, as was then mandated by the Ministry of Finance.

On Friday, I was visited by a field assessor from the Valuation Division. I requested from the officer a carbon copy of the measurements which he took. Such a request could not be entertained, as no provision was made for the property owner to receive any documentation that his property was evaluated.

This, I consider, to be a breach of my fundamental right to know exactly what measurements are used to evaluate my property for the purpose of taxation. Furthermore, without documentation, I can in no way contest any taxation that might be imposed upon me.

It is my understanding that property tax should not be introduced before at least 50 per cent of property owners in the country have been evaluated. If it took three years to evaluate my property, and I live less than ten minutes’ drive from the Evaluation Division in Charleville, I find it unforeseeable that ­suf­ficient property owners would be evaluated before 2050.

As a pensioner with co-morbidity, I now have to budget for two community spread viruses: Covid-19 and PNM 20.

Imam Iqubal Hydal

Felicity

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