TTMA head supports ‘equitable’ residential property tax

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TTMA president Roger Roach. – File photo by Angelo Marcelle

NEWLY re-elected president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) Roger Roach expressed the TTMA’s support for a “reasonable and equitable” tax on residential properties during his remarks at the association’s AGM at the Hyatt Regency on March 26.

“If this means not having to change engine mounts, bent rims or damaged shocks because of bad roads; or flooding in our communities and businesses when a bucket of rain falls; we support the empowering of regional corporations to do their job, as these issues have a negative effect on productivity,” he said.

He added that the association also supports the operationalisation of the Revenue Authority, saying it would prevent fraud and tax evasion. He called on the government to widen the tax net by ensuring the tax burden is not carried by those businesses that are already compliant.

Newsday spoke to him after his remarks on commercial property tax, which will also eventually be implemented.

“We are awaiting a discussion on commercial properties because we don’t want the evaluation to include plant and equipment. That is the only issue we have.”

Roach said regional corporations need some means of generating income to deal with infrastructural issues that have a significant effect on the daily lives of citizens. The government has proposed to use the proceeds from the property tax to fund the corporations, thereby addressing these structural issues.

On March 15, the Property Tax (Amendment) Act was laid in Parliament, proposing to reduce the tax to two per cent and include a section that would extend the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR’s) deadline to issue notices of assessment to June 30. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives on March 18 and in the Senate on March 25.