Mottley: Solid waste tax unfair
The Municipal Solid Waste Tax is simply a bad and unfair tax and the Government of Barbados must do right by its people.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley levelled the charge today while addressing members of the Press on the impact the new tax on Barbadian society.
Speaking from the conference room of her offices in the Public Building, Mottley said: “Government must do right by the Barbados Association of Retired Persons. The Government must do right by the various private sector organisations that have spoken, from the BPSA [Barbados Private Sector Association] to the Chamber of Commerce to the hoteliers, who will feel it most because they have the largest investment capital in terms of real estate.
She also pointed out that people who live near to commercial operations and coastal areas “will pay a higher amount than people who live in the country.
“These things cannot be right. All of us accept that the Government has a revenue problem, but you cannot get blood from stone. If the economic activity
is not taking place, you are not going to get people able to pay that which they do not have,” she added.
Mottley charged that the irony of the tax was that the majority of the commercial banks in Barbados whose profits were still there unlike other businesses, rent office space and therefore were not liable to pay the tax.
“Large land developers, people who buy 20, 30 40 acres of land, and may not have started the process of building on it, will not be asked to pay the tax,” she added.
“They have large capital bases and intend to build houses for people, but they do not have any buildings on the land as yet. They will not pay this tax.
She also pointed out that “town Houses will have low site values because they represent a density on a piece of land such that the value is in the building, but not the land. And the majority of people who live in Town Houses are middle to upper middle income,” she noted.
“I happen to know that in relation to some one set of town houses, where the values are $500,000 to $600,000 for the buildings, the Solid Waste Tax is $120 and $130, but an old lady living on 5,000, 7,000 square feet [of land] in St Michael or St James may well be paying $250, $300, two to three times what that person in that town house is paying. That cannot be right,” Mottley argued.
Mottley pointed that other governments around the world had repealed taxes, as she reiterated her call for the Government to do right by the people by repealing the Municipal Solid Waste Tax Act.