September 09, 2013:
Minister of Finance and the Economy, Larry Howai today delivered the largest fiscal package to date in Trinidad and Tobago- $61.4 billion.
During his two and a half hour presentation, Howai outlined a number of incentives aimed at encouraging the use of compressed natural gas – a prelude to a reduction of the national fuel subsidy. Howai also announced that the property tax will returned on a phased basis
During the presentation of the 2013-2014 National Budget in the Lower House of Parliament Howai proposed a tax allowance of 100 percent, up to $40,000 per vehicle for the conversion to CNG, effective January 2014. He also proposed that Government discontinue the fuel subsidy to Caribbean Airlines Limited; excluding the subsidy to the Tobago airlift.
Howai noted the Land and Building tax was a key pillar in all modern tax systems since recurrent land and building taxes meet all the conditions of a good and fair tax.
"I propose to phase in these taxes over the period 2014 to 2017 during which time the properties will be valued and consultations will be held with all stakeholders. In phase one, and effective immediately, we shall commence valuations of all industrial land, including plant and machinery, whether housed or un-housed with a view to implement this tax by July 1, 2014. In phase 2, we will impose a tax on commercial properties and in phase 3, we will impose a tax on agricultural lands and on residential properties with a deductible allowance to provide relief to certain agricultural land owners and low-income homeowners."
Regarding the overall allocations to Ministries, the Ministry of Education along with the Skills and Tertiary Ministry received the largest chunk of the pie, with an allocation of $9.8 billion. The Ministry of Health received a $5 billion while the National Security received an allocation of $6.5 billion.
The Minister also announced there would be legislation to counter illegal fuel bunkering and quarrying with a fine of up to $500,000.
Other major announcements included a 100 percent increase in fines for littering; from $2,000 to $4,000; the increase of customs duties for new and foreign used vehicles over 2.4 ccs, with the exception of those used as maxi taxis.
The 2013/2014 fiscal package was another deficit budget, with a deficit of $6.3 billion and total revenue of $55 billion and total expenditure $61.3 billion. The 2013/2014 Budget was pegged on an oil price average of US $80 per barrel & natural gas price of US $2.75 m per mmbtu.
Click the following link to view the full budget 2014 statement http://www.news.gov.tt/content/budget-statement-2014-sustaining-growth-securing-proserity