Compliance rates in Jamaica for property taxes (which are at fifty-one percent (51%) for the fiscal year 2013/14) are low when compared with developed nations which exhibit compliance rates in the high ninetieth (90%0 percentile. As a result, revenues derived from property taxes have been unable to fund the costs of the services which are required. This is further exacerbated by escalating costs of these services particularly for streetlights. To ensure effective compliance we will require your voluntary compliance, enforcement by the Local Authorities and legislative changes.
This series of initiative is currently being addressed between the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development, the Local Authorities, Ministry of Finance & Planning, Tax Administration of Jamaica and the National Land Agency. However, it is your voluntary compliance that we deem to be most crucial to meeting our collection targets in order to efficiently provide the services you the citizens require for improved standard of living and community development.
As we seek to improve our collections through compliance to provide better quality services to you we will move to engender a culture of voluntary compliance and to clearly communicate the compliance measures to be taken against those who have the ability to pay but who have refused to do so. Currently, the compliance efforts are being spearheaded by a special taskforce comprising members of the Tax Administration of Jamaica and the Local Authorities. They operate from tax offices and Councils across the island and are tasked with the responsibility to increase the property tax collections by increasing the compliance rate and collecting outstanding arrears from delinquent owners.
In addition, since October 2012, we have engaged experienced personnel to focus on special geographical areas in which property tax compliance is low and the outstanding revenues are high. We ask that you cooperate with these officers who may visit your home (on the provision of valid identification) and make arrangements to pay. This is one of the best ways to avoid legal actions. Your refusal will leave us no choice but to initiate legal action after you have been served with a reminder and you still refuse to comply or pay.
Property tax arrears hits $6.4B since 2006.
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