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Letter: On the real estate tax

Published on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Recently, I have been surprised to learn that most people do not understand the true nature of the real estate tax.

They do not realise that this tax transforms all real estate from freehold to leasehold.

In other words, a vote for a real estate tax is a surrender of ownership.

Cayman is one of the very few countries in the world where you can actually own property. This is something on which Caymanians should place a very high value.

However, because of recent favourable comments on a real estate tax in the local press, I do not think that the people here realise the severe and undesirable consequences of having one.

In the US, for example, governments regularly seize properties because the ‘owners’ cannot, or will not pay the real estate taxes that are levied. And with the tax rising year after year due to inflation, many cannot.

There are endless stories about families being thrown out of their houses, and off their properties, because of tax liens placed on their real estate by their benevolent government.

It does not matter a hoot that the property may have been owned for generations. Because of this horrible tax, the property they ‘own’ is seized by their government, the descendants are thrown off of it, and their beloved government sells it in an auction to the highest bidder.

Caymanians need to ask themselves if this is what they really want.

Time is running out, and if we do not stop this ghastly tax, property ownership on the Cayman Islands will be no more.

Please wake up, and smell the coffee.

Gerry Miller
 
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