Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) is advising property owners that the reduced property tax rates for fiscal year 2017-18, recently announced by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service in his address to Parliament, have now been reconfigured on the administration’s Property Tax System. The reduced assessments are therefore now reflected on the TAJ’s website through the Property Tax Online Query, when making an online payment, as well as at a Tax Office.
Owners of Strata properties are however advised that further work is being undertaken to configure the system to reflect changes to how the property tax on these properties will be calculated. Previously, the person who owns a strata lot would be liable for the share of the property tax that is calculated on the total value of the entire parcel and that would mean that the value would fall in a higher band and therefore be taxed at higher rates. For fiscal year 2017-18 and subsequent years the change will allow for the property tax to be calculated on the proprietor’s share of the total unimproved value of the parcel. The public will be updated once the assessments on strata properties become available.
With the adjustments, a flat tax of $1,000 on all properties valued up to $400,000 is retained. This will benefit 110,303 persons. Above this flat rate, a progressive tax regime with eight bands ranging from a low of 0.5% to a maximum of 0.9% now applies. This is a reduction in the tax rates previously announced, that ranged from 0.8% to a minimum of 1.3% of the land value. The lowered rates are being applied against the 2013 property valuations and will also apply on a graduating scale allowing property owners to benefit from the rate applicable to each preceding value band.
The value bands and reduced tax rates are now as follows:
Values < $400,000 is $1000
The next $400,001 to $800,000 is 0.50%
The next $800,001 to $1,500,000 is 0.55%
The next $1,500,001 to $3,000,000 is 0.60%
The next $3,000,001 to $4,500,000 is 0.65%
The next $4,500,001 to $7,000,000 is 0.70%
The next $$7,000,001 to $12,000,000 is 0.75%
The next $12,000,001 to $30,000,000 is 0.80%
Greater than $30,000,001 is 0.90%
With the reduction in the tax rates, 448,360 or 58% of the 776,487 properties will now see a reduction or no change in their property tax bills for 2017-18 over what was assessed for the last fiscal year; Average increases will however still be reflected for residential properties of 10%; commercial properties of 58%; Agricultural properties of 40%, when the tax rates are applied on the 2013 valuations.
Mechanisms are still available through which persons may object to their property valuation or seek relief from the Property Tax assessed, where special circumstances apply. Property owners may serve a Notice of Objection to the Commissioner of Land Valuation in respect of their valuation. Persons may also apply for a special discretionary relief based on hardship; for statutory relief where the potential use of the land differs from its current use; or for agricultural de-rating in respect of agricultural lands. Details of the various relief options are available in a special information hub on the TAJ website at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm