Last update: 11-Dec-2013 4:05 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Unions express caution, concern over new taxes
Labour unions anticipate hardships for the working class with the reintroduction of Land and Building Taxes expected to take effect in 2014. Finance Minister Larry Howai spoke of reintroducing the tax measures during his budget presentation yesterday. Howai proposed to phase in the taxes over the period 2014-2017 during which time properties would be valued and consultations would be held with all stakeholders. Howai said phase one, which would be implemented by July 1, would include valuations of all industrial land, including plant and machinery, “whether housed or unhoused.”
Government will then implement phase two, which will impose taxes on commercial properties and phase three, which will impose taxes on agricultural lands and residential properties. Howai said there would be a deductible allowance to provide relief to certain agricultural land owners and low-income homeowners. President of the Banking Insurance and General Workers Trade Union Vincent Cabrera said the union’s response would come when it saw exactly what the Government was coming with. Cabrera was unclear on the details but added that the union would seek dialogue with Government to get the facts. He displayed a bit of scepticism, saying, “Whether we call it a rose or a daffodil, it is still a tax. Federation of Independent Trade Unions president Joseph Remy said in an interview yesterday once the tax came back in the format it was in before, the union would object to it. “It is clear that the Government reneged on their position not to bring back the tax,” said Remy.
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