Categorized | National News

Property Tax Relief

Homeowners with property taxes can expect a reduction in their real property tax, as the government has decided to reduce this tax from 0.75 per cent to 0.625 per cent.

According to the Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis, in the upcoming billing exercise the idea is to lower the tax rate in hopes to acquire more compliance, which in turn should yield more revenue.

The government’s focus, Mr. Halkitis noted, with the changes in real property tax, is one that will relieve property owners, small investments and pensioners.

“Property has value Mr. Speaker, but we have instances where in this country there are pensioners, those people who over a lifetime have built up these assets but now their pensioners and they find themselves with an asset valued a lot of money and every year they receive this huge property tax.” he said.

The changes are expected to affect everyone who pays property taxes in a positive way and consideration was also given to those individuals who own duplexes, triplexes and more.

“As it currently stands, an individual can get an exemption for the side that they live in, but they pay at the commercial rate, which his 1 per cent on the others ” he said.

“So what we are doing is we recognize that someone who has a duplex might be starting one, it is really onerous on them to pay the commercial rate on the one that they are renting, so we are changing that Mr. Speaker. So that if in the case of a duplex, if that side is valued at $75,000 or less instead of paying one per cent they will pay a flat rate of $300.”

He added if it is valued at more than $75,000 instead of paying one per cent they would pay just over half, which is the residential rate.

“We are reducing the real property tax rate for commercial properties valued up to $500,000 from 1 percent to 0.75 per cent,” he said.

“And as I said we are going to allow pensioners a 50 per cent reduction on their real property tax bill if they live in their home and the home is valued under $1 million Mr. Speaker.”

The pensioner in this case would have to live in the house that he or she is registered in.

The minister said with the tax reductions that are being provided, the government is very confident that when traded off against economic activity, it in no way undermines the fiscal projections laid out in the budget.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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