Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2017 Contents A16 news
guardian.co.tt Friday, May 5, 2017
Kamla knocks PM on claims
from tax amnesty
RADHICA DE SILVA
Opposition Leader Kam-
la Persad-Bissessar said that
everyone including the PNM
benefited from deferred prop-
erty tax between 2010 to 2015.
Speaking to reporters at a prize
giving ceremony for Kiddies Car-
nival held at her constituency of-
fice in Penal on Wednesday, Per-
sad-Bissessar responded to state-
ments made by Prime Minister Dr
Keith Rowley who accused her of
waiving property tax for personal
She described Rowley's remarks
as facetious. Rowley made the
statement during a political meet-
ing in Diego Martin on Tuesday.
Asked to comment on Rowley's
accusations, Persad-Bissessar said:
"We paid the same taxes that he
paid on his property.
"In other words everybody in
the country including him, every
householder, everyone with prop-
erty benefited so it was not special
to any person, it was for the entire
Trinidad and Tobago."
She said the People's Partnership
had campaigned on a promise that
the property tax will not be imple-
"We kept that campaign prom-
ise. In fact we passed the law to
waive it in 2010-2015 so I would
say if he's asking questions about
how much taxes we paid on our
properties, it's the same taxes that
he paid on his property, meaning
we all benefited, all of Trinidad and
Tobago, it was not personal to any
one of us."
Persad-Bissessar said in 2009,
the property tax laws which the
late prime minister Patrick Man-
ning wanted to pass were nothing
short of draconian.
"We were of the view that this
law which was rushed through the
Parliament in 2009 was draconi-
an. Property tax is a tremendous
burden they want to inflict on the
people of Trinidad and Tobago giv-
en that we are in the worst recession
in three decades. We are saying now
is not the time for implementation
of that property tax, yet I see the
Government intends to push for-
ward with it."
She reiterated that the public was
not obligated to submit the prop-
erty tax form to the Government.
"You are not breaking the law by
not submitting the form. There is
nothing in law that requires you
to submit this form and all these
documents. In fact, the Minister of
Finance is on record saying it is not
mandatory and therefore there is no
breaking of the law should you not
fill out these forms they have left in
people's post boxes," Persad-Bis-
She noted that those who do not
submit the form will not be liable
to any prosecution.
"According to the law there is no
compulsion on anybody to fill out
that form, the form has no name,
it has no address, there is nothing
in the law that forces you to fill out
that form and if you do not there
is nothing that can be done," she
She explained that at a later
stage, if the Government continues
with it, citizens will get a registered
letter in their name.
"The Government is entitled to
put out any propaganda they wish
to give but it is clear they are con-
cerned as they should be by the fact
that citizens are very much against
this tax," Persad-Bissessar said.
She noted that her government
intended to challenge the tax in
Parliament and in the courts.
"I have a team of lawyers work-
ing now and we intend to pursue
this matter in the courts as it is
unconstitutional, unfair and is an
unjust burden on taxpayers and on
citizens," Persad-Bissessar said.
months after cousin
For the second time in less than
five months a Cocorite family is
mourning the murder of a relative.
Carlos Gregorie, 40, was ambushed
by gunmen shortly after reporting for
work at the Housing Development Cor-
poration's (HDC) offices in Maloney
Gardens, Arouca, on Wednesday.
Residents of Building Nine told po-
lice they heard gunshots coming from
the car park at around 8 am and found
Gregorie lying between two cars. He
was pronounced dead at the scene by
a district medical officer (DMO).
Homicide detectives said Gregorie,
originally from Waterhole, Cocorite,
moved to Glenn Lane, El Socorro, late
last year after his cousin Dominic was
shot and killed on November 15. He also
asked to be transferred to the HDC's
office in east Trinidad.
Dominic, 39, of Pitilal Road, Water-
hole, and his friend David Matthews
were building a wall in the area when
they were ambushed by a gunman.
Matthews survived the attack.
Within a month of that incident,
police arrested and charged Cocorite
resident Jalani Parkinson for Dominic's
Before their murders, the cousins
had told relatives they were getting
Gregorie's killing took the murder
toll for the year to 172.
Detectives of the Region Two Hom-
icide Bureau are continuing investi-
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-
Bissessar. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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