In an effort to meet every Barbadian’s dream of owning a “piece of the rock”, it might be necessary to “move away from condominiums being primarily for well-to-do foreigners”, to condominiums also being made available for all income classes.
This view was expressed yesterday by Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he delivered the feature address at a workshop on Mass Appraisal Techniques for staff of the Land Tax Department, at the Accra Beach Hotel.
Minister Boyce told the workshop participants that such a move would present its own challenges for their department’s valuation processes, “because how you value a condominium, which is targeted towards the local market, does not differ from how you value a condominium which is targeted towards the tourism market”.
He noted that the mass appraisal techniques workshop was therefore timely, as it would help the participants to begin to focus on some of the technical difficulties that they were going to face.
He also described it as a sign of continued cooperation between Barbados and Canada, which provided the resource personnel for the workshop and said he expected even further cooperation, especially on issues related to taxation of property.
“Land tax is an important area of revenue in terms of keeping Barbados balanced with the rest of the property market in the region and the world, and we want to ensure that the staff of the department is kept on the leading edge of professional practice in their area,” Senator Boyce observed.
He also lauded the department for its many achievements, which included being the first government agency to accept payments via credit/debit cards and the capturing of images of all properties in digital format to better facilitate equitable assessment.
“This now gives the department the evidence on which it can base its valuations and it brings a lot of objectivity, so that when people want to discuss valuations, you have the information right there,” he said.