Daily Brief - Friday 26th May, 2023

Business chambers share concerns over timing of tax

The business communi­ty is expressing concerns over the passing of the Valuation of Land (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which gives the green light for the implementation of property tax. After a three-hour-long debate on Wednesday night, the Valuation of Land (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed in the House of Represen­tatives. Clause 5 of the bill repeals and replaces Section 7A of the Valuation of Land Act, Chap 58:03, by introducing specific categories of land to be valued, namely residential land, commercial land, industrial land and agricultural land, for the valuation roll (list of properties assessed and valued by the Commissioner of Valuations) to take effect and property tax to be determined. Read more here



Sponsors answer Rainbow Cup 2023 call

Rainbow Cup organiser Jason Gooding is thankful that more sponsors have come on board for this year’s triathlon event after the 2022 edition was downscaled because of the covid19 pandemic. In just over two weeks some of TT and the region’s best tri-athletes will compete in the 17th edition of the Rainbow Cup at Turtle Beach in Tobago on June 10. The Rainbow Cup, organised by the Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club, also serves as the national championship. Some of the sponsors of this year’s event are Odessey Timing, TT Triathlon Federation, M&M Insurance, Broking Services Ltd, Massy, Tobago Tourism Agency, Subway, Allnite Acti-Liv Sports Collection, Universal Ambulance Service, Blue Waters, Classic Awards Ltd and ATPerformance Lab. Read more here

Father of 3 gunned down in front girlfriend

A budding singer and father of three was gunned down while walking along Milk Road, Turure, Sangre Grande, yesterday. Kerwyn Coa, 33, of Milk Road, died on the spot after a gunman shot him several times in front of his girlfriend, who escaped the attack unhurt. According to police reports, around 4.30 pm, Coa had just purchased KFC and mangoes and was walking along Milk Road with his girlfriend when his attacker jumped out of some bushes and began firing at him. Coa ran a short distance to avoid the gunman, who followed him and continued firing. Coa eventually fell on the roadway and died instantly. Police officers from the Sangre Grande CID, Task Force and Homicide officers from the Arouca Bureau Region 2 responded. Relatives who rushed to the scene cried continuously after getting there, some hugging and consoling each other. Meanwhile, villagers who rushed out their houses looked on in shock, noting they had just seen Coa minutes before with his girlfriend. Read more here



Kamla Can’t Escape Piarco

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not escape the facts of the Piarco Airport scandal to which the UNC is linked, Government said on Thursday. The Prime Minister and Rural Development and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi addressed the circumstances that led to the multi-billion-dollar Piarco corruption case, which dates back almost three decades. The award for the airport extension project was granted by the UNC administration led by former prime minister Basdeo Panday, and the case against a former cabinet minister and UNC financiers continued during Persad-Bissessar’s People’s Partnership government. Read more here

Fire for Farley over leaked propaganda campaign audio clip

Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Farley Augustine yesterday avoided the media, as a controversy over who were the individuals heard in an audio clip, discussing hiring persons under the THA to spread propaganda on behalf of the new Tobago People Party, swirled across the island. The issue has created a firestorm on the island as persons expressed anger that taxpayers’ money could be used to fund a party initiative in an illegal manner, with many suggesting those involved would have serious questions to answer. Meanwhile, other Assemblymen stayed mum when asked to comment on the matter, as they congregated for yesterday’s sitting of the Assembly. In the voice clip, which has been circulating for a couple days on social media, one male and one female, who sound like two senior THA officials, are heard discussing hiring persons to work to promote political propaganda through the THA. The male is heard saying, “Create the plan, the strategy, whatever. Bring it here. Once you get approval. Once, ... you have 13 people now. You might just need five or seven to do the strict PR. So, you could use some to do some propaganda. Whether they going to use face profile, whether they going to use their own profile, whatever they doing. And what you will have to consider is finding a way to employ people on the THA side. Could be menial.” Read more here



UTC paid $256 million to unitholders in 2022

The Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) recorded $256.3 million in total distribution payments to unitholders in 2022, a 16.2 per cent increase from $221 million in 2021. The financial institution hosted it 41st annual general meeting on Thursday at the Government Campus Plaza, Port of Spain where the ‘Annual Report 2022’ was presented. This was the first in-person meeting, post-pandemic. Chairman Jo-Anne Julien in her opening remarks noted the challenges brought on by the global pandemic, ongoing conflict in Ukraine and a turbulent financial landscape. In 2022, the group’s total assets declined marginally by one per cent to $25.1 billion from $25.4 billion in 2021. Read more here

$198M from four local govt bodies

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said on Wednesday that four Local Government bodies in Trinidad could collect up to $198 million in property taxes a year when all properties in those corporations have been valued using the annual rental valuation methodology. Imbert told Parliament: “Based on properties that have already been registered, I can say that the Regional Corporation of Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, when all residential properties have been valued, will be in receipt of $44 million. “The Regional Corporation of Penal/Debe, when all properties in that region have been valued and taxes paid, will get $35 million a year. “The Regional Corporation of Tunapuna/Piarco, being one of the more populated corporations, will get $67 million a year. “The Borough of Chaguanas is estimated to get $52 million from property tax.” Read more here



OAS gives gov’t high score for its democratic pursuits

Guyana has received high commendation from the Organisation of American States (OAS) for its remarkable efforts in fighting for the rights of its people. OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro paid the compliment on Thursday, during an engagement with Guyana’s Civil Society at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston. The Secretary-General said Guyana has always been making headway for its people, which often aids in the further unification of the country. “Guyana has proven itself to be a great defender of democracy. Equally as important, Guyana continues to be a defender of human rights, especially Indigenous People’s rights, and Afro-descendant’s rights, recognising to build a nation of unity, all people must be given equitable access to opportunities,” Almagro underscored. Read more here



Russian rocket attack on Ukraine hospital kills two

At least two people have been killed and 23 injured in a missile strike on a medical clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, the regional governor says. Of the 23 injured, 21 are in hospital and three are in a serious condition. Two boys aged three and six were also among the wounded, governor Serhiy Lysak said. Russian strikes on Ukraine have intensified in recent weeks ahead of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive. Mr Zelensky posted a video of the damaged clinic that showed firefighters at the scene and smoke billowing from the building. "Russian terrorists once again confirm their status of fighters against everything humane and honest," he said. Earlier, Mr Lysak said the region came under a "mass attack...with missiles and drones" on Thursday night. "It was a very difficult night. It was loud," he said. "Dnipro has suffered." Ukrainian authorities said they shot down 17 missiles and 31 drones launched from Russia overnight. Read more here

26th May 2023


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