Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says the Ministry surpassed its 2012/13 property tax collection target of $2.8 billion by just over $5 million or 0.17 per cent.
Making the disclosure during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 11, Mr. Arscott commended all Jamaicans who made the effort to pay their taxes, despite the challenging economic times.
“I also want to commend the initiatives of our Mayors, the team from the Ministry and other stakeholders including the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), that aided our achievement of our target,” he stated.
Property taxes represent the single largest source of revenue for the island’s 14 local authorities and are used to provide a number of essential services. These include solid waste collection and disposal; payment for streetlight services; maintenance of parks and gardens; general civic improvement; and rehabilitation of the parochial road network. Property taxes also fund aspects of councils’ administration.
Minister Arscott informed that for fiscal year 2013/14, property tax revenues will be used to fund over $8 billion in expenditure. Of this figure, some $3 billion will go towards the provision of solid waste collection and disposal services; $3 billion will be spent on street lights; while an additional $2 billion will go towards street light arrears.
Support to Councils Administration will cost approximately $150 million, while $160 million will be spent on community support and beautification.
Mr. Arscott said the Government is committed to ensuring improved quality of service in terms of consistency, effectiveness and efficiency of delivery.
“There are no two ways about it, despite the challenging times we face we must make the effort to improve our local services as our consumers are far more discerning and demanding of quality,” he stated.
Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker