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Greater Equity For Strata Owners Under New Property Tax Regime

Greater Equity For Strata Owners Under New Property Tax Regime
Chief Corporate Communications Officer at Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Meris Haughton, speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Thursday (March 30).
(Media Credit: R. Fraser)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Strata property owners will benefit significantly from the new property tax regime when it takes effect on April 1. A new methodology for property tax assessment will be applied to strata properties that will allow owners to pay tax for the value of their individual units rather than the entire strata as was the case previously. Chief Corporate Communications Officer at Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Meris Haughton, speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Thursday (March 30) said the new methodology will bring equity to the system. She explained that under the old method, “if there are 10 units on a strata property and (it) is valued at $100 million, what would happen is that the entire property would fall into the value band of $100 million. The property tax would be assessed on that (figure) and then they would get their individual share of that property tax, but you would understand that with the tax rate being different for different value bands then they would be required to pay a higher amount,” she explained.

“You would have had a neighbouring town house, for example; the value for that is $10 million, but with the strata that is next door they would have been paying tax on a $100 million value even though their individual value is $10 million,” Miss Haughton further explained.

However, as of the new fiscal year the value of individual units will determine the value band in which the property will fall.

Miss Haughton said that property owners will receive their assessments by the end of April as the TAJ works to configure its system to accommodate the change.

With the new property tax regime the value bands have been expanded from the previous three to nine.

The ranges are as follows: for the first $400,000.00 there is a $1,000.00 (flat rate); for the next $400,000.00, 0.80%; for the next $700,000.00, 0.85%; for the next $1,500,000.00, 0.90%; for the next $1,500,000.00, 1.05%; for the next $2,500,000.00, 1.10%; for the next $5,000,000.00, 1.15%; for the next $18,000,000.00, 1.25%; and for every dollar, thereafter, 1.30%.

For more information the public is being encouraged to contact TAJ’s Customer Care Centre at 1-888- Tax- Help (1-888- 829- 4357) or visit their website, www.jamaicatax.gov.jm .