What a relief!

Cabinet agrees to TAX break for seniors AND other property owners

In the face of a strong public outcry, Cabinet today agreed the full removal of the controversial Municipal Solid Waste Tax in the case of pensioners, whose land carries an improved value of $190,000 or less.

At the same time, Government has decided to slash the tax rate in half for the benefit of owners of agricultural land.

At today’s meeting, the Cabinet further agreed to extend the deadline for payment for all taxpayers until December 31 this year. This will mean that all penalties and interests on the tax, which was due by July 28, will be waived until then.

“This means that taxpayers can now pay at a more leisurely and affordable rate,” reported one senior official.

Other government officials, in confirming the move to Barbados TODAY, said the Freundel Stuart administration had heard and responded to the appeals of the public.

The news comes as head of the Anglican Church in Barbados, Bishop John Holder, expressed concern today about the impact of the tax on its properties scattered across the island. The Bishop said the church which has 52 congregations and dozens of properties, intended to send  correspondence to Government requesting an exemption from paying the tax.

Meanwhile, the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) reported today that it was satisfied with how Barbadians were paying in the tax.

BRA Communications Officer Erica Lazare told Barbados TODAY all five locations were reporting “a fantastic” response from both locals and residents              living overseas.

She however said the agency was anticipating “a rush” as the deadline drew closer.

“There might have been some complaints but by and large many people are paying the tax,” said Lazare.

“If you go to Oistins in the Southern Plaza [location] there are many people going there every day and when I spoke to the accountant there he said about 80 per cent of the people who are in the line are paying the Municipal Solid Waste Tax. And that situation has been going on for the past three weeks or so. So a lot of people are paying the tax,” Lazare stressed.

As it relates to residents living overseas , she said the response “has been fantastic”.

“We have been getting a lot of e-mails from people wishing to pay the tax and they have been sending us their information and trying to find out how to pay. They have been calling and giving either their credit card information or they have been sending their cheques by post, but I am getting a lot of people from overseas,” she said.

“We would expect a rush coming on to [the end], but people area already paying it. They have been paying it here at Weymouth Corporate Centre [St Michael and] they have been paying at the Treasury Building (in The City),” said Lazare, adding that the Treasury Building and Oistins locations were getting the most traffic.

The other locations for making payments are at Holetown Complex in Holetown, St James and Warrens Tower II in Warrens, St Michael.

Up to late this evening, estimates of how many Barbadians were due to pay the tax and how many had actually paid so far were unavailable, but Lazare maintained that “from seeing and from getting reports from the offices of the [five] locations” people were “definitely” making their payments.

“And I think the numbers are starting to rise as we get closer to [the deadline],” she added.

The BRA official also said: “Barbadians generally pay their taxes. They follow the laws . . . and they understand generally that taxes are a part of what you need to carry out certain functions in society. Most people [when] they get their bills and it is for a specific tax they are going to pay it whether it is VAT, the Municipal Solid Waste Tax or whatever. They will go and pay.”

kaymarjordan@barbadostoday.bb, marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb


19 Responses to What a relief!

  1. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder July 18, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Because if government don’t have $$$$$ where these people would get it from then,lots more ways to save the economy but taxing every thing wouldn’t fix this problem or make it go away they must be away,once u have a Will u have a way put ur best thinkers on it an find better solutions please I have hope not in the government but in individual persons that can bring better ideas to the tables..

  2. Cassandra Gittens
    Cassandra Gittens July 18, 2014 at 12:47 am

    dump the tax altogether

  3. NathAn Salcedo
    NathAn Salcedo July 18, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Lol they will pay why don’t they try this in Jamaica

  4. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens July 18, 2014 at 12:59 am

    We are calling for the full repeal. Come up with a more equitable and fair system for solid waste management!

  5. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens July 18, 2014 at 1:08 am

    The pressure is obviously working. We want a full repeal of this unfair tax.

  6. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens July 18, 2014 at 1:08 am

    The pressure is obviously working. We want a full repeal of this unfair tax.

  7. Addison Cortlandt
    Addison Cortlandt July 18, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Ants and grasshoppers. Smh…

  8. Olutoye Walrond July 18, 2014 at 2:41 am

    I don’t think it’s because “Barbadians generally pay their taxes. They follow the laws . . . ” at all.

    If that were so then the rate of income tax avoidance would not be what it is. Barbadians are paying because they fear the penalties that might follow – including confiscation of their land.

  9. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne July 18, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Good news but this tax needs to go and Barbadians need to understand that it is because of their action that the government moved. lets move them to get rid of this tax. It is structurally unfair.

  10. Ezekiel Baker
    Ezekiel Baker July 18, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Stop copying the British way of running your economy, find your own solution, look the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, all these economy is bigger than the British, they didn’t copy the British or another.

  11. Lynda Bonnett
    Lynda Bonnett July 18, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Frigging criminals….mostly old people in the line…fearful for their land the work so hard to acquire…bajans dont have spine…lots and lots of talk,but if the band together and DONT pay the criminal tax….they CANT do the entire bim nothing.plus the law didnt even went to parliment…..criminals need to go….they are our servants we put them there not the other way around

  12. Tammy Browne
    Tammy Browne July 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Bajans please continue to make your voices heard. They need to completely repeal this tax. Next reduce the rate of income tax and vat so the economy can finally grow! This ridiculous farce if a government needs to go!

  13. Jackie Alleyne July 18, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Everyone from the UK is NOT paying. Would you stop making this group of people accountable for EVERYTHING in Bim. They don’t even know what this tax is about as my relatives have been asking me. And people are disputing it because they are only in Bim a couple of weeks a year – balance your argument, there is always 2 sides to look at.

  14. Jackie Alleyne July 18, 2014 at 7:17 am

    No doubt, the emails are about what this tax is for as people from the UK ALWAYS ask questions.

  15. Charles Tibbits
    Charles Tibbits July 18, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Why is it that no government minister has come out and made this announcement

  16. Mac10 July 18, 2014 at 9:28 am

    When the Gov pays all it owes to people waiting for tax refunds then people should start paying what they owe the Gov.

    Any news on Al Barrack yet Mr Gov?

  17. Jackie Alleyne July 18, 2014 at 10:52 am

    It is so sad that the Government is sooo focussed on bringing in revenue that they seemed to have forgotten that Legislation needs to be updated in line with modern day times.

  18. Patrick Blackman July 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    So now the government has caved in to this pressure.BAD MOVE THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE TAX.. now everything from hence forth will be caved in as well… silly people.

  19. Rickie Nurse July 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Anything less than full abolition of the Municipal Solid Waste Tax will be unacceptable, the tax in it’s self is double taxation or more commonly known as double jeopardy. This ilconceived venture is nothing short of malice afore thought, from a heartless administration. We the people will accept nothing less.


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