By a notice published as S.I. 2011 No. 88 in the Official Gazette of July 28, 2011, the Minister of Finance waived the payment of LAND TAX by the Barbados Cruising Club for a nineteen-year period April 1, 1992 to March 31, 2011. The Minister forgave the payment of $125, 871.06.
I do not pretend to understand these weighty matters of state, and I am not questioning the Minister’s right to grant exemptions from the payment of land tax or any other tax. He has that right under the provisions of the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act, Chapter 67B of the Laws of Barbados. My concern is that while Government is squeezing every last cent out of the average Barbadian, why would it forgive the payment of land tax to people who can afford to own yachts and cruise as a hobby?
As I understand it, Government leased land to the Barbados Cruising Club to use for their members’ recreation. For the period of the lease the club should have been paying land tax on the property. They failed to do so. Rather than ensure compliance with the provisions of the Land Tax Act, and make sure that the country gets the much needed revenue, the Minister of Finance forgave the tax.