Finance Minister Winston Dookeran has confirmed that the People's Partnership government will stand by its election promise to "axe the tax" by repealing the property tax passed by the previous administration.
Dookeran told the Trinidad Express the act was never constitutionally enforced although it was passed by Parliament.
He said the mission is that "the old property tax will be reinstated at the old values and old rates." However he said there will be some adjustments to the annual rateable value provision.
"You see, what had happened in the past is that the Government had that provision in the old tax, but they never enforced it," Dookeran said, adding the it will have to be removed. He explained that in order to re-institute the old land and building tax several provisions will be made.
Last week Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said Government laid a bill to re-enact a 7.5 per cent tax on lands and buildings using the "annual rental value" created by the People's National Movement (PNM) for the property tax.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar denied that, saying it was a misrepresentation of the facts. And Attorney General Anand Ramlogan insisted last Thursday the government is not bringing back the tax as proposed by the Manning administration.
Dookeran confirmed that the Government has no plans to introduce any new taxes to raise revenue. "We are not right now looking at those measures. Right now we are just trying to simplify the situation by repealing the act and reinstating the old act, and that is it at this point in time," he said.