Although the government’s changes to the Municipal Solid Waste Tax have been welcomed by politicians and businesses, they are saying the amendments did not go far enough.
Last week, Cabinet decided to waive all payments of the Municipal Solid Waste Tax for pensioners with property valued under $190,000 (one BDS$=50 US cents)
and pushed back the payment deadline for others.
This new tax was announced last year with a .03 per cent charge on the site value of every real estate property in the nation, but there have been
widespread complaints about the financial burden it places on residents.
However, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley described the changes as a “knee-jerk reaction”.
“I welcome the news that some pensioners whose properties are valued at $190,000 or less will not now pay the tax,” said Mottley. “But there are still
thousands more pensioners who still have to pay the full tax if their properties are above this value.”
Mottley welcomed the 50 per cent cut for farmers and said the tourism sector should also benefit from it.
“What about the hoteliers and other tourism providers?” she said. “They must still pay this tax, yet our economy’s return to growth largely depends on
their ability to survive and thrive. This is still a bad tax and the Barbados Labour Party still calls for the repeal.”
Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Alex McDonald, said the announcement shows that government is listening to concerns of taxpayers, but
he also wants relief for hoteliers.
“I think that is something that is going to take some more lobbying to see if we can get (relief for) them, and for other businesses who are right now to
the wall and, even the payment over time may not be enough,” he said.
President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons, Ed Bushell, said he was pleased that some pensioners got the waiver, but thinks all should get
“We appreciate this first step in alleviating the burden placed on pensioners and look forward to further considerations for those pensioners whose land
value is more than $190,000,” he said.