Government of JamaicaGovernment of Jamaica

Property Tax Info

Created on Friday, 07 Apr 2017 09:11:55

Property Tax

All residential and commercial properties are subject to tax in Jamaica. Get all the information about land taxes.

Property Tax is a tax levied on property owners to provide revenue for the provision of public & community amenities provided by the local government. It is charged on the unimproved value of the land.

Understanding unimproved value

  1. In relation to unimproved land the capital sum which the land might be expected to realize if offered for sale on such reasonable terms and conditions as a bona fide seller would require;
  2. In relation to improved land the capital sum which the land might be expected to realize if offered for sale on such reasonable terms and conditions as a bona fide seller would require, assuming that at the time the value is to be determined the improvements do not exist.

 

Payment date for Property Tax
Property Tax is due and payable on the 1st of April in each year. Payments can be made annually, biannually or quarterly as follows:

Annually: 

April 1st

 

 

 

Biannually: 

April 1st

October 1st

 

 

Quarterly:

April 1st

July 1st

October 1st

January 1st

Persons may however opt to make their payments on a monthly basis. 

NB. Any 1st payment made after the 30th of April are considered late. Such payments may attract a ten percent (10%) penalty. Amounts unpaid after thirty (30) days from the 30th of April may attract a further fifteen percent (15%) penalty per annum.

Properties Exempt from Property Tax

  1. All buildings and lands held in trust exclusively for public religious worship or for religious worship and for use as classrooms, together with the lands immediately attached to them used as churchyards or burial grounds.
  2. All buildings and lands belonging to any church used as rectories, caretaker cottages or church halls together with the lands immediately attached to them so long as the area of the so exempt does not exceed one (1) acre.
  3. All buildings and lands used solely for charitable or educational purposes and supported solely by charitable or missionary funds.
  4. All buildings and lands belonging to and used by the University of the West Indies and the Council of Legal Education.
  5. All buildings and lands belonging to Primary Schools; Secondary Schools receiving any payment out of the Consolidated Fund; and Commercial Schools or Preparatory Schools with not less than twelve scholars in average attendance.
  6. All buildings and lands belonging to schools approved by the Ministry of Education.
  7. All buildings and lands belonging to the Government of Jamaica.
  8. All buildings and lands belonging to private hospitals approved by the Minister.
  9. All buildings and lands belonging to any social, charitable or cultural organization approved by the Minister.

 

Calculating Property Tax

Property Tax Rate Schedule (as at April 1, 2017)

Rates

All parishes:

On property the unimproved value of

which is $400,000.00 or less                         ...            ...            $1,000.00

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $400,000.00 but does not exceed $800,000.00:       

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for every dollar thereafter                    ...            ...            0.80%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $800,000.00 but does not exceed $1,500,000.00:    

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...            0.80%

(c) for every dollar thereafter                    ...            ...            0.85%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $1,500,000.00 but does not exceed $3,000,000.00: 

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...            0.80%

(c) for the next $700,000.00                         ...            ...            0.85%

(d) for every dollar thereafter                    ...            ...            0.90%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $3,000,000.00 but does not exceed $4,500,000.00: 

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...            0.80%

(c) for the next $700,000.00                       ...            ...            0.85%

(d) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            0.90%

(e) for every dollar thereafter                       ...            ...            1.05%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $4,500,000.00 but does not exceed $7,000,000.00: 

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...     $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...        0.80%

(c) for the next $700,000.00                         ...            ...       0.85%

(d) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...         0.90%

(e) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...         1.05%

(f) for every dollar thereafter                     ...            ...            1.10%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $7,000,000.00 but does not exceed 12,000,000.00:           

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...            0.80%

(c) for the next $700,000.00                         ...            ...            0.85%

(d) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            0.90%

(e) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            1.05%

(f) for the next $2,500,000.00                     ...            ...            1.10%

(g) for every dollar thereafter                    ...            ...            1.15%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $12,000,000.00 but does not exceed $30,000,000.00:           

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...            0.80%

(c) for the next $700,000.00                         ...            ...            0.85%

(d) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            0.90%

(e) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            1.05%

(f) for the next $2,500,000.00                     ...            ...            1.10%

(g) for the next $5,000,000.00                     ...            ...            1.15%

(h) for every dollar thereafter                    ...            ...            1.25%

 

On property the unimproved value of which exceeds $30,000,000.00:

(a) for the first $400,000.00                          ...            ...            $1,000.00

(b) for the next $400,000.00                        ...            ...            0.80%

(c) for the next $700,000.00                         ...            ...            0.85%

(d) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            0.90%

(e) for the next $1,500,000.00                    ...            ...            1.05%

(f) for the next $2,500,000.00                     ...            ...            1.10%

(g) for the next $5,000,000.00                     ...            ...            1.15%

(h) for the next $18,000,000.00                  ...            ...            1.25%

(i) for every dollar thereafter                     ...            ...          1.30%

 

You can use the TAJ Property Tax Online Query to show current land value and property tax assessment status for seven (7) years. Please make sure to have the valuation number(s) at hand to access information using the property tax online query.

 

Property Tax Reliefs and Exemptions

Property Tax Relief

The Government has put in place mechanisms by which persons may seek relief from Property Tax where special circumstances apply. There are three types of relief, namely Statutory Relief, Agricultural De-rating and Special Discretionary Relief.

 

  1. Statutory Relief: This is granted in cases where the valuation, based on the potential use of the land, is higher than the current use.  For example; many persons own property and live in an area, which was originally classified as residential, but has now become commercial.  In such a case, the valuation will reflect the potential of the highest and best use of the land for offices or shops.
  2. Agricultural De-rating:  This is granted for a period of up to three years for land used primarily for agriculture. These applications should be sent to the Land Taxation Relief Board. (include link to form)
  3. Special Discretionary Relief:  This is granted by Ministry of Finance in cases of hardship.  For example; pensioners and other persons with fixed income as well as the aged and persons with disabilities.  These applications should be sent to the Parish Review Committee through the local authorities.  The Committee will make recommendations to the Ministry of   Finance and is applicable for one year only. The Land Taxation (Relief) Act (include link to form)

The Land Taxation Relief Act

Any person liable to pay land tax may apply to the Board for a relief certificate if:-

  • The land was at the time of valuation and is being used as agricultural land and the valuation takes into account the potentialities of the land use other than as agricultural land; or
  • A building on the land at the time of valuation was then and is being used bona fide as a private dwelling house and the valuation of the land takes into account the potentialities of that land as a suitable site for any of the following types of development purposes;-   

                (i) a hotel or guest house, or

                (ii) a shop, office or other commercial building, or

                (iii) an industrial building, or

(iv) a block of residential flats, or a type of residence which would necessitate re-development of the land and involve substantial capital expenditure; or

  • The land was at the time of valuation and is being used bona fide for an approved purpose by an approved organization and the valuation thereof takes into account the potentialities of that land as a suitable site for subdivision or for any of the types of development purposes e.g. hotel, offices etc.

                                 

Property Tax Exemption

The Minister of Finance is empowered to grant exemptions to any purpose or organization, if he is satisfied that either the purpose or organization is of a social, religious, cultural or educational nature.

The List includes:

  • Church Properties
  • Charitable/Educational purposes
  • Universities
  • School Properties
  • Government Lands
  • KSAC properties/Parish Councils
  • Properties owned by Embassies
  • Properties owned by General Legal Council
  • Church Rectories/Burial grounds
  • Private Hospitals
  • Properties owned by social and charitable

 

Payment Options

Paying OnlineThe most convenient option is to pay online via the Tax Portal. It is recommended that property owners use this alternative as it gives them access, both locally and from overseas, to make payments on a 24 hour basis from their homes, offices and elsewhere using a credit card. This means NO MORE WAITING IN LINE.

To log on to the Tax Portal persons need to enter their username and password. Once logged into the system, persons should then select the option Pay Property Tax and follow the instructions to make payment. A reference number will be generated at the end of the transaction, which can be saved or printed for your records. Online users should ensure that they have the valuation number(s) of the property(s) available. This can be seen on a property tax notice, even an old one or on a previous property tax receipt. The information may also be provided by calling the TAJ’s Customer Care Centre at 1-888-TAX-HELP.

Paying Inline: Customers may visit any of the 29 tax offices located across the island to make payments, using cash, credit or debit cards. Additionally, the King Street, Cross Roads, Constant Spring, Montego Bay, Spanish Town and Savanna-La-Mar Tax Offices are equipped with electronic drop boxes which may be used to make payments by cheque. Please note the Valuation number(s) is also necessary when using this option.

Our offices are open from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Mondays to Wednesdays and from 8:00 am – 3:00 Thursday and Fridays. Additionally, the Portmore Tax Office opens on Saturdays between the hours of 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Paying at outstations: During the months of April to June, TAJ normally conducts “out-station” operations, particularly in the rural areas. Details of schedules and venues are available from the local tax offices. However, “out-station” operations only accommodate non-cash transaction; therefore ONLY debit or Debit cards will be accepted. A receipt will be given for ALL payments made.

Paying via Mobile Tax Unit:  The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, in partnership with Tax Administration Jamaica, recently commissioned into service two (2) Mobile Tax Units.  They are available based on a schedule of parish and location. (NO CASH; only debit and credit cards are accepted)

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Property Tax

Q1.         What is property tax?
A1.         Property Tax is a charge levied on all property in Jamaica. 

 

Q2.         Who pays property tax?

A2.         All persons in possession of land; such a person is defined by the Property Tax Act as the owner, occupier, mortgagee in possession or other person in actual possession of such property.

 

Q3.         Are any property owners exempt from paying property tax?
A3.         The following categories of land are exempt from the payment of Property Tax:

  • Buildings exclusively used for religious worship, churches yards, burial grounds and Rectories,
  • Educational institutions and properties owned by the Council of Legal Education,
  • Government-owned lands,
  • Lands owned by the Local Authorities,
  • Hospitals, and
  • Lands owned by charitable or cultural organisations approved by the Minister and used solely for the purposes of such organisations.

 

Q4.         How is property tax calculated?

A4.         The property tax regime has been reformed to expand the number of value bands to eight (8), with reduced tax rates ranging from a flat rate of $1,000 on properties valued at $400,000 or less, up to high of 1.3% on properties valued over $30,000,000. The rates are now applied on a graduating scale allowing property owners to benefit from the rate application to each preceding value band. The ranges are as follows:

for the first $400,000.00                ...            ...            $1,000.00

for the next $400,000.00                               ...            ...            0.80%

for the next $700,000.00                               ...            ...            0.85%

for the next $1,500,000.00                           ...            ...            0.90%

for the next $1,500,000.00                           ...            ...            1.05%

for the next $2,500,000.00                           ...            ...            1.10%

for the next $5,000,000.00                           ...            ...            1.15%

for the next $18,000,000.00                         ...            ...            1.25%

for every dollar thereafter                           ...            ...            1.30%

 

Q5.  How is land valued?
A5.  Valuation in Jamaica is based on the unimproved value of the land, that is, the price which the owner would expect to receive if he were selling the land alone disregarding the value of any improvements such as buildings and crops. Several factors determine the (unimproved) value of land, including: Size of the parcel of land, Zoning and type of land, Potential for development, Topography (elevation & other surface features), Soil classification, Access to municipal & commercial services, and neighbourhood characteristics.

 

Q6.  Which agency is responsible for land valuation?

A6.  The National Land Agency is responsible for valuation of properties on the tax roll. The last exercise was done in 2013.

 

Q7.  What if you disagree with the assessed value of your property
A7.  You may serve a Notice of Objection on the prescribed form at the Commissioner of Land Valuations within 60 days after receiving the Notice of Valuation. You may also fill in a Declaration of Value form indicating the amount that they believe is the more accurate value of the land. The landowner should pay 75% of the tax liability while the objection is being considered. 

 

Q8.  What actions can the government take to recover unpaid property taxes?
A8.  Under the Tax Collection Act the tax collector may take the following actions:

  • Issue summonses for arrears and penalties owed, if persons fail attend Court, a Warrant of Disobedience may result, where they may be imprisoned for up to three (3) months or an ?Ex Parte order can be made.
  • Levy Warrant or Distrain on Goods/Chattel seizure of goods and auction of same to recover outstanding property tax
  • Levy Warrant Distrain on Securities, etc. seizure money, bonds, securities, etc. and disposal to recover outstanding Property Tax.
  • Caveat on the Property (lien):- This blocks the person from transacting any business with the property, such as sale or collateral.
  • Forfeiture of Property:- The property may be seized and sold to recover property tax owed.
  • Collect from People in Possession-payments may be demanded from persons in possession of or occupying the property. E.g. owner, occupier, renter, mortgagee, leasee or other person in actual possession of the property.

 

Q9.  What are the laws that relates to property tax?
A9.  The Property Tax Act; Land Taxation (Relief) Act; The Land Valuation Act; The Tax (Collection) Act. 

 

Q10.  What is Property Tax intended for?

A10.  Property taxes are intended to finance property-related services in communities throughout Jamaica. Property Tax pays for:

  • Maintenance and expansion of street lighting,
  • Collection and disposal of solid waste,
  • Community infrastructure and civil improvements,
  • Administration of Local Authorities,
  • Repairs to fire stations, and Rehabilitation of parochial/farm roads.

 

Q11.  Where can you get additional information?

A11.  For more information, forms and guidance on Property Tax operations, persons may contact the Tax Administration Jamaica Customer Care Centre at 1-888-TAX-HELP (1-888-829-4357) - local; 1-888-GO-JATAX (1-888-465-2829) – USA or visit www.jamaicatax.gov.jm or email taxhelp@taj.gov.jm

 

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