Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, has informed that the National Land Agency (NLA) is currently carrying out a revaluation exercise to update all property values, for the purpose of assessing property taxes.
"The last revaluation programme was carried out in 2002/2003, so the revaluation is long overdue. The government regards this as a priority,” he emphasised.
Mr. Pickersgill was making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 24.
Meanwhile, the Minister told the House that there are 344 land settlement schemes islandwide, comprising approximately 50,000 lots.
The schemes are: St. Catherine, 28; Clarendon, 31; Manchester, 24; St. Elizabeth, 26; Westmoreland, 25; Hanover, 21; St. James, 27; Trelawny, 17; St. Ann, 20; St Mary, 32; Portland, 33; St. Thomas, 31; and St. Andrew, 29.
Mr. Pickersgill informed that there are currently 17,000 lots yet to be titled, which are at various stages of the process, that is, they either require the lands to be surveyed and/or subdivision approvals are required.
"There are 7,631 certificates of title in office in the name of the Commissioner of Lands, and 1,060 certificates in the name of the purchasers,” he said.
He noted that a Probate Unit has been established to assist beneficiaries of deceased land settlement allottees, and advertisements have been placed in the newspaper to try and find the beneficiaries.
"I have asked the Commissioner to prepare a list of the properties affected, and I will ask my colleague Members of Parliament and Councillors to assist with this matter, because more than likely they will be able to identify these persons. I will continue to put emphasis on this area, as I firmly believe that these titles must be put in the hands of the people, and the sooner the better,” the Minister said.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter