Published On: Wed, Jun 25th, 2014

Houses on stolen lands possibly tax free

Government centerWILLEMSTAD – Property appraisers are going around the various neighborhoods on the island to appraise houses. Based on this appraisal, property owners will have to pay the new land value tax (OZB), which has been adopted by the government. This new tax replaces the old property tax stemming from the year 1908.

The only ones that will not pay this new tax are those who have illegally taken government land for their private use. These properties are not registered at the Department of Urban Planning and for this reason the users of these lands will not pay the OZB.

The government has switched from the outdated property tax to the new land value tax (OZB), which means that property owners will pay more taxes on their properties and thus more income for the government. However, there are many houses that were built illegally. There are even large neighborhoods with illegally build houses. The situation becomes more serious now that there are reasons to believe that even foreigners are taking lands illegally to build their houses. None of these houses are registered. A property must be registered at the Department of Urban Planning for the owners to pay taxes.

For this new tax system to really work the government must register these houses, otherwise it will not have the expected results, a property owner said.

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