Barbadians told to pay new solid waste tax or face penalties

Barbadians told to pay new solid waste tax or face penalties

Sunday, July 06, 2014

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbadians have been told to pay the Municipal Solid Waste Tax even though they have not yet received information from the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA).

BRA director of Shared Services, Wayne Forde, said the first instalment of the tax is due by July 28.

He said that property owners who have structures with an improved value on their land, were required to pay the solid waste tax, which has been calculated at a rate of 0.3 per cent of the site value.

“The Municipal Solid Waste Tax Act 2014 does not make any provisions for exemptions from the payment of the tax. However, the Minister of Finance has the authority to remit or refund part or all of the tax on the grounds of undue hardship or for any other reason, as stated in Section 5 of the Act,” Forde said.

Forde warned that failure to pay the tax by the specified dates would result in a penalty of five per cent of the tax demanded and unpaid. In addition, interest at the rate of one per cent for each month on the penalty and the unpaid tax at the prescribed time, will be charged.

The tax was introduced this year to assist with the management of solid waste, that is, all garbage generated from residential households, apartment buildings, commercial and business establishments, institutional facilities, construction and demolition activities, municipal services and treatment plant sites.

But former prime minister Owen Arthur, is mobilising members of his constituency to protest payment of the tax, claiming that they are unable to pay.

Arthur and the main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) have complained that tax places another financial burden on Barbadians.

“The people who are going to want relief most from this tax are the people who don’t know about writing no minister, (they) don’t know about using the law to help themselves,” Arthur said, adding “I am going to organise my constituency office, and bring all of my key people in St Peter together. And I am going to identify all who are living in house and shed, all the pensioners”.

Forde said that any objection to the value of a property must be made in writing to the Revenue Commissioner.

“You are still required to pay the tax although you have lodged an objection. It is advisable to pay the first instalment, and if your objection is successful, the adjustment will be made in the second instalment,” he added.

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