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    • Is the Finance Minister stepping out of order by asking the public to continue submitting the Property Tax Forms despite a court ruling to have a stay on the filing of these forms until the the matter is heard. Is Mr. Rowley allowing Mr. Imbert and Mr. Al Rawi to overstep their boundaries so that he will have good reason to fire them?  
    • Quite often Trinis are heard to say that you won't meet a lawyer in heaven. So I considered two scenarios in the Property Tax appeal. I have heard comments that suggest how difficult it will be for low income earners and retirees to meet the tax obligations, and some of these concerns are by lawyers. But I wonder if one from those low income  groups asked a lawyer to file an appeal against the Tax I am 100% sure that there will be no let up or special fees consideration. The other scenario is if lawyers are of the opinion that the State handled this matter in a manner that did not meet the requirements of the act, but the State decided to appeal as they have done, would any of these high flying lawyers tell the state that not to file an appeal. You can bet your bottom dollar that they won't. Too much fees are involved that we the taxpayers will have to foot. So maybe you there is a high possibility that you won't meet lawyers in heaven.    
    • A High Court Judge has granted a temporary halt to the filing of the Valuation Return or as we refer to it as the Property Tax Form. The stay was granted as Devant Maharaj, a former UNC minister, challenged the legality of the process. This stay will stay in effect until May 31, 2017. Devant Maharaj is represented by Anand Ramlogan SC. The Government has since filed an objection and are well represented by Russell Martineau and Deborah Peake SC as well as Fyard Hosein SC. Hearing is scheduled for Monday 22nd May 2017. Interesting days ahead.
    • An extension to the date for filing the Property Tax Return Form has been set to June 05, 2017. Newspaper reports indicate that at point and time there are at least three persons who have filed an injunction against the return. It also appears that the actual property Act will be challenged as it did not have the 2/3 majority as required.
    • With regards to the completion of the Property Tax Form, many of the attachments that we are being asked to submit does not form part of Schedule 2 of the Act. It also seems to be a fact that due to the manner in which the forms were circulated that if we fail to meet the May 22 deadline we cannot be fined the $500. If what I am being told is correct and I want to agree with the advice I find that the Minister of Finance has lost his credibility by continually stating that the deadline will not be extended. The time frame that we as property owners have been given to submit these returns with the required attachments are totally unacceptable. Just imagine the long queues at the various locations that the forms are to be submitted. And its not only handing the forms and waiting for a receipt but we will also be interviewed.  For those who are complying it should be noted that rooms referred to on the questionnaire are bedrooms. Even if a bedroom is being used for storage it has to be declared as a bedroom. For many who are living in the homes of deceased parents or relatives where the will was not probated any one of the occupants can complete the return. Interestingly most HDC homes that are occupied by mainly PNM supporters may not be affected as their arrangement is on of rental or rental with an option to purchase. In both instances the HDC will have to pay the property tax. You can bet your bottom dollar that HDC will not be able to meet this obligation since many if not most of their tenants are in arrears and the HDC will not pass on the cost to these tenants. So my dear friends it will be the middle income earners who will feel the full pinch of this Tax as the wealthy will not have a problem.Also there are many retirees who can barely make ends meet and will now face this Tax and await WASA increases that will follow just as night follows day.
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