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Millions of Dollars in Land Tax Still Outstanding

On the opposite front, the government is trying to collect the tens of millions of dollars that is owed in land tax. According to Lands Minister, Cordel Hyde, a handful of persons and companies own the majority of private land in the country and these persons have been delinquent in paying millions of dollars in combined taxes every year. He says that the government is still facing challenges in collecting the taxes 

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining: “It’s a tremendous load for the ministry alone to deal with. What we found is that we don’t have the, we don’t have the firepower to take it on on our own and so what the Government has decided is that they will put all tax collecting powers in the tax department and so there’s an integrated process going on there where they are helping us to do the collections. It’s a partnership. A lot of money has been spent in that regard. A lot of training is taking place and I know they’ve started on that. We’ve also changed the law to empower the tax commission or whatever is her name. The Director General of the Tax Unit to take people to court in an easier way. Because previous to that we had to get D.P.P clearance and D.P.P. direction. That has changed. Basically, once you owe and you’re not paying and you’ve been given a chance and you don’t pay then you go to court and you figure it out because I mean, owning a piece of land is the ultimate gift you can get in a country because this is a finite resource. Not everybody is going to get piece, try as we may. At least so far not everybody has gotten piece so the people who have gotten have a responsibility to pay their taxes and when you don’t pay you’re violating like a sacred law.* You’re violating the common good and so we’re expending a lot of energy there but it’s resting with the tax unit now.”