I have been following the newly imposed solid waste tax issue very closely.
While I fully appreciate the Government’s dire need to raise revenue, I believe this tax is extremely burdensome and, if not immediately reconsidered and rescinded, has the potential to cause a ripple effect across this nation.
With this tax, business owners, in an effort to recover their losses, may raise their prices. Also, if you are a tenant, the landlord may see it fit to increase the rent, the Barbados Light & Power may seek to increase our bills, the same with every other utility, and the list can be longer.
All of this in a climate where many individuals have not had a salary or wage increase for several years, yet more and more tax burdens are being placed on the people.
Further, has this tax been applied to all Government properties, that is, schools, polyclinics, hospital and so on? What about the National Housing Corporation’s units ? How has this tax been applied to them, given the close proximity of the houses to each other?
If the Government [is] cash-strapped, how, for the life of me, can they pay the thousands, perhaps millions of dollars, towards this solid waste tax they have imposed on properties which they own? That’s if they have applied it; the people may never know.
I am not anti-government(s) but I truly believe this Government can do much, much better.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has publicly stated that property owners must first pay the tax to [get any relief], but can they afford to pay this cumbersome tax?
What about waste generated by a two-person household versus a 15-person household living on the same or similar square footage of land? I believe the method used to calculate this tax should be abandoned with immediate effect.
Can the Government consider another less burdensome method for this tax if you must have it? Perhaps it could apply one rate for the residential and another for commercial; again that is much less burdensome.
Finally, will property owners be required to pay this tax every year especially since property does not depreciate in value?