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Sep 30, 2020

Clarity on Land Tax Amendment Bill

Michael Peyrefitte

In clarifying the purpose of the Land Tax Amendment Bill, Senator Mike Peyrefitte responded to the statement that the revised piece of legislation will only benefit wealthy land owners who simply choose not to pay their taxes.  The law, he says, ties the minister’s hands, preventing discretion to be used willfully, except in cases where destruction is the result of natural disasters.


Michael Peyrefitte, U.D.P. Senator

“This bill does not give carte blanch authority to the minister to remit land taxes or interest on land taxes.  As I understood him correctly, you don’t want the government to forgive land taxes and interest for people who don’t pay their land tax?  In short then, you don’t want ih give it to just any and anybody, but this bill doesn’t allow the minister to do that.  This bill puts the minister in a box.  The minister may remit taxes in whole or in part, including any arrears or interest in any disaster as follows: a hurricane, other acts of God, invasion, civil commotion, fire or other occurrence and by that, when you mean other occurrence it is to be read, help me out senior counsel, as they say in law, …in relation to what has been mentioned before, it has to be an act of God.  So you can’t burn down your own house and say I need tax relief because my house ketch fire, no.  It has to be something that was beyond your control that caused destruction to your property that produces crops or to your crops at your dwelling.  In those cases, the minister can use his or her discretion to say, look this person is owed land taxes but given what has happened which is beyond that person’s control, the minister can use his discretion to say, look, you don’t owe any land taxes for the next year or two.”

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