Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don’t try this at home: Trinidadians vow civil disobedience rather than pay new property tax

After the passage of a new property tax law in Trinidad & Tobago last month, opponents of the measure immediately vowed to mobilize the population in civil disobedience against the tax:
Opposition Member of Parliament for Tabaquite Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj says his constituents will not pay the new property tax, and has promised civil disobedience. He said if Prime Minister Patrick Manning 'gets back the monies that UDeCOTT [The Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago] has (taken) from the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and use it to fix the roads, then we would consider paying property tax'.

Maharaj made the statement during a meeting in Macaulay, on Monday night in support of his campaign for the political leadership of the UNC [United National Congress].

Promising to lead protests against the Government, Maharaj said, ’I will get buses for you (constituents) and we going to sit down in Manning’s palace and wherever he goes, we going with him.’

Maharaj said, ’We will teach Manning an opposition campaign of a lifetime.’

This set the backdrop for parliamentary elections in Trinidad over the weekend. Initial results suggest that Kamla Persad-Bissessar, a member of parliament who has expressed misgivings about the property tax bill, will become the new prime minister. Nevertheless, hardline opponents of the bill have vowed civil disobedience…again…because of election irregularities.

And I thought billing property taxes in Decatur was tough!

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