Speaking on behalf of the opposition leader, Peter Bunting, lamented that "Regardless of whatever the minister (Shaw) wants to say, this whole raft of tax measures are helping to pay for this 1.5 income tax relief."
The Opposition noted that it never implemented the 2013 valuation when in government because it was awaiting an evaluation. Bunting said it would have been "unfair, burdensome and oppressive" if his government had just applied the rates with the valuations.
Bunting said the Opposition could not support the property tax regime and it was calling on the Government to suspend the imposition of the new property tax rate and immediately convene the Tax Committee of Parliament to review the proposal.
The review would also undertake a tax incidence study and report its findings to the Parliament.
In a press release short shortly after the government's announcement, the PNP said that even with the proposed tax reductions, some Jamaicans are still facing increases of over 300 per cent, demonstrating a new low in the nation’s governance.
The party dismissed relief options outlined by Shaw, pointing out that applications for relief must be submitted along with a payment of at least 75 per cent of the current property tax rate.
The Finance Minister said that the Government will lose $2.1 billion from reducing the property tax rates, but expects to make up the shortfall through a ramped-up compliance drive.
The Government had projected $8.6 billion in revenue.
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