To maintain a leadership role in all Real Property matters, and to serve as the main source of all information for Boroughs/Municipalities in the entire Local Government jurisdiction. Also to fully computerize Assessment department with highly trained staff.
To make property tax as reasonable and equitable as possible, without instituting undue burden on the Burgesses in the City of Port of Spain.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Assessment Department
The Roles of the City Assessor’s Department is clearly expressed in Section 80 of the Municipal Corporations Act 21 of 1990 as follows: -
The Assessor shall ascertain and assess the annual rateable value of each rateable hereditament within the Municipality and record the names of the owners, occupiers or tenants thereof and, before the 31st March of each year, the Council shall fix the House Rate payable.
GUIDANCE NOTES ON ASSESSMENT AND RATING
Functions of the City Assessor’s Department
- 1. Processing of Return of Owner ship
- 2. Valuation of hereditaments within the City limits
- 3. Numbering and re-numbering of hereditaments
- 4. Mergers of properties
- 5. Sub-division of properties
- 6. Circulation of leases
- 7. Preparing and maintaining the House Rate Book
- 8. Preparing and issuing of Assessment Notices
- 9. Research, data collecting and analysis. Market intelligence
- 10. Giving technical advice on valuating matters generally
- 11. Servicing the public and agencies e.g. WASA
- Processing of Return of Owner ship
- Valuation of hereditaments within the City limits
- Numbering and re-numbering of hereditaments
- Mergers of properties
- Sub-division of properties
- Calculation of leases
- Preparing and maintaining the House Rate Book
- Preparing and issuing of Assessment Notices
- Research, data collecting and analysis. Market intelligence
- Giving technical advice on valuating matters generally
- Servicing the public and agencies
Other documents produced in the case of a deceased estate are as follows:
- A copy of Will
- Probate, along with inventory of proceedings
- Death and/or Marriage Certificate
- Letters of Administration & copy of Inventory (Hall of Justice)
A copy of all documents must be made for departmental records.
Fill out the Return of Ownership Form (See Forms) using information from above.
A transfer fee of $50.00 plus vat $7.50 (total $57.50) is to be paid at the cashier after being processed.
i. the gross Annual Rental Value is determined for every rateable hereditament
ii. the gross Annual Rental Value is the gross hypothetical rent (i.e. the gross rent which a tenant may be reasonably expected to pay) for the property as it is, or as it us used or as is reasonably suitable through unoccupied, and disregarding rent restriction law and any landlord provided services.
iii. The term gross rent implies that from the rent the landlord would pay for an repairs, insurance, land rents and house rates
iv. Discretionary allowances can be then made for voids and loss of rent but nothing else
v. the Annual Rateable Value (the assessment) is the gross Annual Rental Value less any allowances for voids and loss of rent.
HOUSE RATE The Annual House Rate imposed on each rateable hereditament is calculated as ten percent (10%) the maximum permitted of the Annual Rateable Value. House Rates become due and payable on the 1st May each year. After 31st July a Statutory Increase of (10%) is added to the unpaid rates.
Today these rolls contain some twelve thousand (12,000) entries, one for each individual hereditament (property) in Port of Spain. Each entry shows, among other things:
a. property address b. name of owner or reputed owner c. the annual rateable value d. the amount of the house rate In relation to the Ordinance at the beginning of every three year (triennial) period, new valuations are made of all hereditaments and the assessments entered in the Book. These assessments remain in force for the three year period unless altered or amended under the provisions of the Ordinance. Upon completion the book is signed by the Mayor and laid before the Council. Public Notice is then made to the public for inspection and the making of extracts.
Further, these books are liable to be continuously amended. Amendments include additions, deletions, substitutions, alterations, corrections etc. – and these served as a partial revision or updating for the next triennial book.
The Assessment and rating functions are carried out by the City Assessor’s Department, with the Assessment Committee taking all the assessment decisions in the name of the Council and the Corporation.
Rateable Hereditaments means, very broadly: -
a. any premises taken as an entity together with the industrial or commercial plans and machinery – in practice, any building, building installation or structure, together with its relevant land, and plant machinery. but excluding
churches and places of worship; their offices and playground, public hospitals, asylums and institutions for the relief of the poor together with rent free quarters within their cartilage; or
b. any individual vacant parcel of land.