Question About The Tax Implications Of Painting Houses In Barbados – Who Knows The Answer?

BFP reader “N” asks…

Hi Guys

Just checking something here….is it true that there was some tax incentive for Bajans who did not paint their homes? I want to clarify this matter with someone.

OK BFP readers… let’s do the Wiki “Knowledge of Crowds” thing and see if we can answer this question for N. Comments are open…

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “Question About The Tax Implications Of Painting Houses In Barbados – Who Knows The Answer?

  1. crossroads

    Don’t paint it – House incomplete – still doing construction – Pay no tax

  2. David

    Land Tax value will be lower when appraiser visits, still have to pay tax!

  3. Anonymous

    Once the house/building is painted then the valuation is higher hence high land tax bill

  4. God Bless David

    There were plans to close this loophole, I think.

  5. more

    Always plans to do something but what happens?

  6. K

    As I understand it, crossroads response was the rule in the past. I understand that this loophole has been closed as suggested by GBD. Ridiculous rule really – made parts of the country look ghetto.

    On the contrary there should be a rule to keep your houses painted and grounds tidy or else pay a penalty of Sanitation Service to come clean it up. Exceptions perhaps extended to particularly impoverished people – which wouldn’t include the chattel house with BMW crowd.

  7. Jamaican Girl 2007

    Thanks for all the answers….I needed to know. You see right now everyone in Jamaica is trying to size themselves up with Barbados in every respect. Jamaicans are trying to figure out why it is our economy is not like yours and why our education system is not as great as yours….but Jamaicans don’t understand that our VALUES are not the same as yours. You guys place a high value on education. Jamaicans place a high value on superficial stuff, like the latest car or the most obscene looking house (the car more than the house though). Then I heard that Bajans are so conservative that they don’t paint their houses in order to get a tax break of some sort….I thought it sounded odd…so I wanted to throw out the question and I see I have found some answers. Thanks!

  8. Peltdown Man

    Jamaican Girl 2007

    Jamaicans place a high value on superficial stuff, like the latest car or the most obscene looking house (the car more than the house though)
    ___________________________________
    Don’t worry JG 2007, we’re trying to catch up with Jamaica fast.

  9. Jamaican Girl 2007

    Peltdown Man: At least you are educated with it! You know what the cost of ignorance is up here? If you can provide a curry goat meal washed down with a Red Stripe beer and some promises….you can buy a vote easy easy!

  10. It is and has always been folly for Bajans not to paint their houses in order to obtain a low value on their property for tax purposes. The Land Tax Dept valuers are pretty efficient and would know that an unpainted house probably only makes it worth about 2% less than a painted one.

    Do the maths here and you iwll see that by not painting your house you probably save on average $15 on your land tax bill per year! Is it worth it? I don’t think so. Rather it just makes the place look shabby.

    However, let us not forget that there are several real cases where it is a matter of folks not being able to afford to complete their houses.

  11. crossroads

    Excellent suggestion K. Maintain your property, get a discount on your land tax, I like it.

  12. J. Payne

    I was always told just what crossroads said….

  13. J. Payne

    Re: #
    Jamaican Girl 2007
    July 11th, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for all the answers….I needed to know. You see right now everyone in Jamaica is trying to size themselves up with Barbados in every respect. Jamaicans are trying to figure out why it is our economy is not like yours and why our education system is not as great as yours….but Jamaicans don’t understand that our VALUES are not the same as yours. You guys place a high value on education. Jamaicans place a high value on superficial stuff, like the latest car or the most obscene looking house (the car more than the house though). Then I heard that Bajans are so conservative that they don’t paint their houses in order to get a tax break of some sort….I thought it sounded odd…so I wanted to throw out the question and I see I have found some answers. Thanks!

    Also they believe in different theologies. For YEARS Bajans tried to assimilate as much as possible to Britain… Soo much so it was sometimes used as a regional slur that Barbados is a “Little England”. During the black power movements that swept the region a different theology was taught. One of turning against everything European. Thus… Forget Education (because it comes from Europe.) forget morals and values at carnival time (Because it is “we culture” to wuck up stink instead. etc. etc… etc. All the stuff that is not so wholesome for any society was consumed in large doses by the other islands just to spite Britain and colonial rule but Barbados stayed very- very- British which meant those with money and influence wanted to come to Barbados and spend their money hey– because we were the goody-two-shoes blacks that did like them…. Now we saying lets import this thing from the other islands forget education lets just sit back and dream about babylan etc. etc. etc. and not worry about competing in the world and voila. We reach….

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  15. Anony

    I am no expert on the subject but was told by someone in the know that that rule though practiced throughout the island by people working on what was the past (as there are a number of houses like this) is not applicable today any longer. The fact is, once your house is completed, that is the value, the only deduction could be the cost of the paint at most off your overall assessment by land tax which is neither here or there.

    I was told that any one who believes this is still true is only fooling themselves. The fact is that I don’t think town planning polices this one. In fact, I believe they only re-asses your land / house when you sell or make some change to it eg build a house or make a significant change.

    It would be a good idea for them to actually penalize persons who do not finish the house completely within a certain time frame.

    As a tourism based economy we should be striving to make everything look at “pretty” as possible.

    While I understand fully the want / need of people to live in wall houses I am very sad to see the colourfull chattel houses disapear and the no character wall houses take over the scenery. I think more thought should have gone into that to keep them looking “Caribbean style”.

    Sorry for drifting off subject there.

  16. J. Payne

    Supposedly– also Anony I hear if a “wall house” butts up against your property that will raises your value (??) and the same thing will happen if a tenantry is formed adjacent-to or around your property too(??)…

    the “??” = Speculative chatter which was told to me that I don’t know if it is true or not. But, I wondering if anyone else knows- or heard-so too.

  17. jamaicangirl2007

    That’s so funny….I ask a question and it is thrown out to the Bloggers…and it was a top post for the day? Way to go BFP!

    ***************

    BFP comments

    Hi JamaicanGirl…

    You never know! And don’t forget that is out of the millions of posts currently online at WordPress blogs. It happens occasionally and never with the posts that we think it will happen with. We received your email and I put it on the schedule for the morning so one of the folks working the blog tomorrow will probably use it.

    Cheers!

    C.

  18. Bimbro

    Jamaican girl 2007 (I wonder if she’ll be different in 2008?) said;

    but Jamaicans don’t understand that our VALUES are not the same as yours. You guys place a high value on education. Jamaicans place a high value on superficial stuff, ……………

    Never a truer word…………… Lord!!!! I in sayin nuttun!!!!!!!!!!! lord!!!!! 🙂

  19. Bimbro

    Hey guys, don’t worry about a thing! You must be getting it right! The latest thing I hear is that Brown, the new British PM, is now going to follow BIM’s example (doan laugh!) and set up polyclinics in the UK! Well I’ve heard about polyclinics in Bim for a long time but the idea of GREAT Britain following BIM’s example just cracks me up! I definitely, reaching for de prozac, now! This country does my head in!!! Now Bim has become the first world, lead country and GB the follower of Bim!

    Wey dah prozac dey????

  20. BK

    I remember Mark Forde raising this issue on the radio and clearly saying he disagreed with ppl not painting their homes to get the tax breaks and he wa literally crucified by the public. They are ppl who can afford to pain who dont and the result is that it pulls down the value of the properties close by.

    It is one of those 50 50 things…its a man’s right to decide if he should paint his house or not but on the other hand…

  21. Anonymous

    with my house unpainted i am saved 6,000.00 a
    year in land tax painted it last year and that was the differnce in the land tax bill

  22. Anony

    Dear Anonymous,

    For you to have a land tax bill that is 6,000.00 over what is was before means that you are in a well to do neighbourhood. You should be ashamed to admit that you did not have your house painted as you obviously could afford it.

    Either that or you had just finished building it in the new year and you were obviously re assesed at the new over all price of your property (with a house on it), which could have seen your land tax jump by that amount easily over what it was before (when you are in that bracket). I am very sceptical of your comment.

    The really sad part about it all is that we as Bajans are having our land taxes move higher and higher becasue of all the high prices that the foreigners are comming in here and paying for our land. So if you own a peice of the rock and a foreigner comes and buy a lot next to you for a rediculous price (becuase he can afford it and his dollar is valued so much higher (think UK £) beware because your land is now that ridiculous value and your land tax will go up whenever you do something with it (sell / build house etc).

  23. Mac

    The negative lyrics under guise of music is destroying the pride and industry of our people. Your dub is so powerful that every other bajan yute now see himself as a man with a spliff and a Guiness who feels the system is oppressive.

  24. Culture Creator

    Why isn’t there a tax incentive to paint your house?

    Why is the incentive in the opposite way- not to paint?

    Do developments of unpainted houses say a lot for the look of the country?

    In tourism?

    To our self esteem?

    Look at Haiti. Poor but proud and artistic.

    Even the tiny galvanise shack can be made into a mansion worthy of admiration.

    Let’s get real about ourselves Barbados.

  25. J. Payne

    You gotta admit though it was funny to watch BLP run up and down cheapside rushing to paint-up everybody’s house in time for world cup…….. lol

  26. Bimbro

    Mac
    July 12th, 2007 at 6:51 pm
    The negative lyrics under guise of music is destroying the pride and industry of our people. Your dub is so powerful that every other bajan yute now see himself as a man with a spliff and a Guiness who feels the system is oppressive.

    *******************************

    Don’t say that Mac because in no time at all, they’ll be calling you racist. Leave them to stew in their own juice!

  27. We want Bim to look pretty for tourists, Right?

    All these unpainted houses make many neighbourhoods look decrepit.

    Land Valuation Dept. cannot be such asses as to value unpainted houses for less, surely?

    Town & Country should not grant the Certificate of Compliance unless the house is painted. The owner of an occupied house left unpainted for more than six months should be fined $500 per month as an incentive to paint his house.

    With all houses painted Bim much prettier.

  28. 5years

    As a small boy (40 yrs. ago) I asked about this unpainted houses thing.
    At the time there was a 5 year break given to people who pretended their house was “unfinished” as long as it was unpainted.
    After the five years, paint or no paint, you paid full rate.
    But as someone also said, I don’t think the Town and Country Planning polices this.
    Does anyone police anything, in this country, any longer (other than speed and weed?)?

  29. J. Payne

    Not everyone can afford paint though…. There’s nuff old people in Bim that probably can’t. Cuzz if some of them had enough money they would have get rid of the wood ants first…

  30. Bimbro

    Mac, this is what they want to believe does n’t exist. It’s ok for them. They don’t live here and have to suffer the acrimony. Let’s close our eyes and pretend an think instead about painted houses!

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-1275199,00.html

    All I can say is ….he don’t look Bajan to me, or indeed, a small islander at all and probably, for the millionth time! Is it any wonder they hate us – but that’s ok ’cause I live in Canada and Bim!!!

    Bajans!!!