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Minster of State with responsibility for Local Government, in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Montague is encouraging Jamaicans to pay their property taxes.
“Let me warn that at the end of October when the amnesty closes, we will enforce the law in order to collect the property taxes. We will not flinch; we are asking the Opposition to assist us in this respect. It is time for action,” Mr. Montague said.
He informed that property taxes pay for street lights, public water, collection of solid waste and some drain cleaning. “We intend to improve these services and we intend to improve the areas from which we offer these services and this cost money. This money must come from taxes,” the State Minister said.
Mr. Montague was making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (June 24).
He pointed out that Mayors have approved a plan to use a portion of the increase inflows from motor vehicle registration, to underwrite a US$10 million (approximately J$700 million) loan to improve roads in selected land settlements and housing schemes, so as to release titles to home owners, hence getting them on the property tax roll.
The rest of the inflows, Mr. Montague said, would be added to their monthly allocation for road maintenance.
“Selection of roads is being driven by whether the properties and schemes are title-ready. In-other-words, the take over of roads and the issuing of a compliance certificate are the only outstanding matters. These will be the priority; this will determine the action we take,” the State Minister said.