Cornwall Court Residents Owe $39Million in Property Taxes

The Montego Bay Tax Administration Department is seeking to collect over $39Million in property tax payments owed by residents of the Cornwall Court community in Montego Bay, St. James.
Regional Manager of Property Tax Compliance, Wendye Peterkin, said of the five most delinquent communities within the parish, Cornwall Court is the least compliant with regards to property tax payments.
“Based on our ongoing efforts to maximize the collection of Property taxes, the Local Government Tax Unit under the management of the St. James Municipal Corporation and the Tax Administration of Jamaica will be visiting the community on Monday, November 19 to encourage residents to make payments,” said Peterkin.
Peterkin argues that regardless of numerous attempts to reach out to residents of the community, a total of 1976 properties are still behind in payments.
“We have staged numerous property tax outstations in the community, but unfortunately, not many residents have taken advantage of the opportunity. We want to highlight the fact that non-compliance hinders the government’s ability to serve communities effectively, as property taxes receipts pay for garbage collection, street lights, parochial road rehabilitation and beautification of communities,” added Peterkin.
Peterkin believes that the amount owed by Cornwall Court residents is excessive as it almost equals the combined $43.37Million owed by the Bogue Village, Bogue Heights, Westgreen and Catherine Hall communities.

FILE - Regional Manager of Property Tax Compliance, Wendye Peterkin (right) explains Property Tax Notices to a resident of Farm Heights at a Mobile Property Tax Outstation at the Farm/Rose Heights Community Centre in March 2018.

The parish of St. James accounts for almost 56,000 parcels of land that are on the property tax register. Homeowners, occupants and tenants are liable for the payment of property tax.  Penalties and interest are applied to outstanding sums and delinquents can be taken to court and properties may be seized for non-compliance.