Court orders TT government to place hold on property tax

Justice Frank Seepersad

The Government  of Trinidad and Tobago has been ordered to place a hold on plans to implement the property tax.

After hearing the constitutional motion in the San Fernando High Court on Friday,  Justice Frank Seepersad granted a stay of implementation and enforcement of the decision by Government that all property owners were required to complete and submit a Valuation Return Form.

As a result, the June 5 deadline given to citizens to present their documents to the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance for the calculation of the property’s Annual Rental Value has been voided.

Seepersad ruled the stay will remain in place at least until May 31, after hearing arguments from the lawyers for the claimants and the State.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the Government should respect the judgment and not bully the people to submit forms until the court process is final.

At a press conference held late Friday, shortly after the ruling was handed down, Persad-Bissessar said no one should submit the Valuation Return Form (VRF) until the court makes a final .

“This injunction is a victory for the people and testimony to the political strength of the UNC. As we move forward, I urge the Government to respect the judgment of the Supreme Court and reconsider its position on the implementation of the property tax.

“This tax will cripple many and bring our people to their knees as the financial hardship caused by its policies is oppressive, cruel and unjust,” the opposition leader said.

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