Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 27th 2017 Contents APRIL 27 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
Under the act, the BIR must publish a
notice in the Gazette and one newspaper
in daily circulation and post in its offices
and sub-offices for one month, noti-
fying the owner of the land that unless
the outstanding arrears are paid "before
the expiration of the specified period,
together with all sums which at the time
of payment may be due in respect of
any tax, the said lands will be liable to
forfeiture to the State."
Section 41 (1) of the act states that the
President may, by warrant "order that
such lands be forfeited to the State, and
immediately upon the registration of
such warrant as hereinafter provided,
such land shall be forfeited, and shall
vest in the State, in absolute dominion,
free and discharged from all rights, es-
tates, interests, equities and claims of
any other person."
In order to obtain possession of any
lands forfeited under section 41, the
Commissioner of State land is author-
ised under the act to issue a warrant to
the board, marshal, police officer, or
other person authorising him to take
possession on behalf of the State and
to evict all other persons occupying
The act at section 49 makes it an of-
fence for anyone to try to prevent any
authorised state agent from taking pos-
session of the land. That person would
be deemed to have committed "an of-
fence and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine of $5,000."
Under section 45 (1) of the act any
land that has been unoccupied and
un-assessed for a period of 16 years and
for which "no taxes have been paid, shall
be liable to be forfeited to the State."
The Property Tax Act section 16 (1)
states that "all land in T&T is liable to
taxation under this act."
Exemptions listed under that section
of the act include:
• lands used exclusively as churches,
chapel and places of public worship of
any religious denomination and every
cemetery or burial ground that is en-
closed and actually required, used and
occupied for the interment of the dead,
but not land that is rented or leased by
a church or religious organisation to a
person other than another church or
• school buildings, offices and play-
grounds of schools within the meaning
of the Education Act.
• property used for a place of learn-
ing maintained for educational, phil-
anthropic or religious purposes,
• land owned, occupied and used ex-
clusively by an incorporated charitable
• land belong to the State, a statutory
authority or state enterprise controlled
by the State
• land used for public hospitals, asy-
lums and institutions for the relief of
• land belonging to UWI, UTT,
COSTAATT or University of Southern
• land owned or occupied by a foreign
government or international organisa-
tion of which T&T is a member
From Page 4
All Land (including vacant land) in Trinidad and
Tobago shall be rated on a Rental Value basis.
Annual Rental Value (ARV) is the rent at which a
property will let from year to year.
Annual Taxable Value (ATV) is the rent at which a
property will let from year to year after a deduction
of 10 per cent for voids.
Annual rental value -- vacant land
The annual rental value of vacant land will be found
by taking a percentage of the current market value
of the land.
Rate of tax (Categories)
Industrial with building
Industrial without building 3%
Factor used to value residential property
• Location of the property (neighbourhood)
• Classification of the property (executive, modern,
standard (I & II)
• Category of the property (agricultural, commer-
cial, residential, industrial)
• Dimensions: property floor area
• Modifications to the particular property
Valuers take several factors into account in calcu-
lating the unit value of the property which is used to
calculate your property's rental value.
The classification of the property (executive, mod-
ern, standard I and standard II) depends on the fea-
tures of the building -- leisure facilities, number of
bedrooms, bathrooms, types of utilities available,
special rooms such as game room.
Standard home I: one Bathroom
Standard home II: two Bathrooms
Modern home: At least one ensuite bathroom with
a specialty room
Executive home: May have at least as many bath-
rooms as there are bedrooms and specialised areas eg
a separate room for dining, office, library etc.
The classification depends on factors such as qual-
ity of construction and condition.
Main provisions of the Property Tax Act 2009
(Source: Ministry of Finance)
Petrotrin to make a profit next year
State-owned Petrotrin is poised to return to prof-
itability next year according to its Chairman Pro-
fessor Andrew Jupiter.
In an interview with the Business Guardian on
Tuesday, Professor Jupiter said his confidence
was based on the company's significant reduction
in cost over the last 18 months and its plans to increase both
refinery throughput and crude oil production.
"Oil prices went under US$30 a barrel in 2016 and we were
still able to decrease operating expenditure from $5 billion to
$4.5 billion. We were able to increased refinery throughput
from just under 105,000 bo/d to at one time, 165,000 bo/d and
we able to reduce our unaudited loss down from $835million
to a loss in 2016 of $$333 million. We are moving in the right
direction for the company to make a profit."
Asked for a timeline for turning a profit, Professor Jupiter
said: "I am saying to you yes we are moving in the right direc-
tor. In one year, we reduced losses by $500 million. Next year
our plan is to make a profit in 2018 to 2019 because we have a
strategic plan. We believe with the improved oil recovery on
land and offshore at Trinmar we can increase oil production
to 60,000 bo/d in five years time."
Jupiter admitted that the recent downgrade of the coun-
try's sovereign ratings from Standard and Poor's will lead to
higher borrowing costs for the company but does not feel it
will hurt Petrotrin's decision to refinance its US$850 million
bullet payment nor its ability to receive bridging finance to
purchase crude oil for the refinery.
Professor Jupiter said: "The downgrade will affect Petrotrin
in the context that the cost of financing will be higher. That
is the bottom line. As you know we have a bullet payment in
2018 of US$850 million which we are seeking to refinance. In
fact, we have had very good, unsolicited responses from three
institutions that want to assume the debt and, more than that,
look at our present requirements for financing."
The oil industry expert added: "I want to say that Petrotrin
has paid all its interest. It has paid all its loans. The bullet
payment, we have not dealt with that as yet."
Jupiter said the company has been holding meetings with
the Ministry of Finance as it seeks to find the best solution to
refinance the bullet payment and reduce the additional cost
On Friday credit ratings agency Standard and Poor’s Global
Ratings (S&P) downgraded T&T's sovereign credit rating, citing
the sharp increase in the country's debt burden since 2014,
while on Tuesday Moody’s also downgraded T&T’s sovereign
S&P lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating for T&T
to 'BBB+' from 'A-'
, but stated the outlook for the country
In a wide-ranging interview, Jupiter also talked about the
plan to increase indigenous crude production, which would
mean more local oil going to the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. That
would result in the integrated oil company requiring less cash
and foreign exchange to buy petroleum.
The Petrotrin chairman said the expression of interest for
enhanced oil recovery led to 27 proposals from companies in
China, USA, Canada and T&T and added that the company
was now in the process of putting together a package that will
outline the best way forward for secondary recovery.
He explained that the amount of oil to be recovered will
depend on the type of enhanced oil recovery, whether that is
steam injection, flood injection, the use of carbon dioxide or
any other type of method.
“We have put together a carbon dioxide roadmap that in-
volved the University of the West Indies, the National Gas
Company, Petrotrin, and even the Environmental Management
Agency so we can come up with real options for CO2."
He said there is a view that Petrotrin can increase production
by 20,000 bo/d but said while the figure is not final, it is clear
the country has only produced 15 per cent of the recoverable
oil onland. He added that if it was able to increase that to 30
per cent, it would be equivalent to producing a new field.
Chairman Andrew Jupiter predicts
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