Towns Property Tax Act

Link to law: http://www.belizelaw.org/web/lawadmin/PDF%20files/cap065.pdf
Published: 2000

CAP. 65 TOWNS PROPERTY TAX ACT BELIZE

TOWNS PROPERTY TAX ACT

CHAPTER 65

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000.

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws - Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

TOWNS PROPERTY TAX ACT 5

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

BELIZE

TOWNS PROPERTY TAX ACT

CHAPTER 65

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000.

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws - Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

TOWNS PROPERTY TAX ACT 5 Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

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No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Towns Property Tax [CAP. 65

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TOWNS PROPERTY TAX

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Power to impose rates and taxes.

4. Certain Crown property liable to taxes.

S. Preparation of valuation rolls.

6. Preparation of new valuation rolls.

7. Duties of valuation officer.

8. Valuers may put questions in writing to any owner or occupier.

9. Power given to valuers to enter upon any property at certain times.

10. Owner to notify local authority of acquisition of property.

11. If name of owner unknown, how to be described.

12. Duty of local authority as respects valuation roll.

13. Alterations to the current valuation roll.

14. Effective date of alteration to valuation roll.

15. Valuations Appeal Boards.

4

16. Right of appeal to the Supreme Court.

17. Provisions as to rating.

18. Rates to be declared each year.

19. Rates in respect of unoccupied property.

20. Rates in respect of occupied property.

21. Rate of property tax in Belize City.

22. When rates due and payable and payments may be made.

23. Rates a first charge on property.

24. Recovery of rates.

25. Service of summons.

26. When name of owner need not be inserted in summons, etc.

27. Service and hearing of summons under section 26.

28. Sale and conveyance of property to satisfy rates.

29. Procedure where owner is poor and unable to pay rate.

30. Disposition of rates.

31. By whom taxes to be paid.

32. Minister may vary time for doing acts, etc., under this Act.

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No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

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33. Savings in respect of Belize City.

34. Alterations in valuation roll for Belize City before January 1966.

FIRST SCHEDULE

SECOND SCHEDULE

THIRD SCHEDULE

CHAPTER 65

TOWNS PROPERTY TAX

1. This Act may be cited as the Towns Property Tax Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

CAP. 52.

R.E. 1980-1990.

5 of 1960.

40 of 1963.

6 of 1966.

2 of 1980.

6 of 1981.

14 of 1982.

9 of 1983.

3 of 1985.

22 of 1987.

10 of 1994.

20 of 1999.

S.I. 22 of 1965.

S.I. 27 of 1966.

S.I. 4 of 1967.

S.I. 5 of 1967.

S.I. 6 of 1968.

S.I. 7 of 1968.

S.I. 17 of 1968.

S.I. 31 of 1968.

Short title.

Interpretation.

6

“annual value” means an amount equal to the rent at which any property

might reasonably be expected to let from year to year if the tenant under-

took to pay licence duties (if any), and the landlord undertook to pay the

rates and taxes and to bear the cost of repairs, insurance and other ex-

penses (if any), necessary to maintain the property in a state to command

that rent or the actual rent received if this is greater than the rent at which the

property might reasonably be expected to let;

“holding of real property” means every separate parcel of land and each

separate tenement or house that is dedicated either temporarily or otherwise

to the uses of any person or persons other than the person or persons in

possession of the legal estate;

“local authority” means-

(a) in respect of Belize City, the Belize City Council constituted

under the Belize City Council Act; and

(b) in respect of any other town, the Town Council of that town

as constituted under the Town Councils Act;

“owner” includes the person having the management or control of property

or having the collecting or receiving of rents, issues or profits thereof, a part

owner, and a lessee from the Crown or from a local authority;

“property” shall have the same meaning as “real property” and “holding of

real property”;

“real property” includes all lands, tenements and hereditaments together with

all houses and other erections built into or permanently attached to the soil

but does not include machinery;

“town” means Belize City, that is, such area as the Minister may from time

to time by Order published in the Gazette declare to constitute Belize City,

6 of 1966.

CAP. 85.

CAP. 87.

9 of 1983.

3 of 1985.

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the Government of Belize.

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and until such publication of any such order means all such land as described

in the Third Schedule to this Act, and including Ambergris Caye exclusive of

the area comprised in the Town of San Pedro, Caye Caulker and St.

Georges Caye and each town named and described in the Schedule to the

Town Councils Act;

“unoccupied property” shall not include property temporarily untenanted or

from which the owner or occupier is temporarily absent;

“valuation officer”, in relation to a valuation roll, means such officer as may

be appointed by the Minister to act (either generally or for a particular

purpose) as a valuation officer in relation to a valuation roll;

“value” means, in the case of unoccupied property, the price which a prop-

erty in its then condition might be expected to realise if sold in the open

market by a willing seller to a willing purchaser free from all encumbrances

other than rates and taxes;

“Valuations Appeal Board” means a Valuations Appeal Board established

under section 15.

3.-(1) Subject to subsection (2), rates and taxes may be settled, imposed

and levied upon real property and holdings of real property within the bound-

aries of a town by the local authority of that town.

(2) The following property shall not be liable to rates and taxes-

(a) every building and the site thereof set apart and in

use for the public worship of God on which no rent is

payable;

(b) all property vested in or held by Her Majesty;

(c) all property vested in any person or body in trust for

Third Schedule.

CAP. 87.

40 of 1963.

Power to impose

rates and taxes.

20 of 1999.

8

the Government of Belize or for the public use of

any town;

(d) all property owned by a local authority;

(e) any school approved as such by the Chief Educa-

tion Officer or any schoolroom being part of or

annexed to or used in connection with any building

used exclusively for the public worship of God and

any land appurtenant to or used in connection with

any such school, schoolroom or building on which

no rent is payable;

(f) any building together with the land appurtenant to it

used exclusively for religious or charitable purposes

and exempted from taxation under this Act by

resolution of the local authority; and

(g) every building or part of a building vested in or

owned by a recognised religious denomination and

occupied by a minister of that denomination.

4. All property the fee of which is in the Crown and in respect of which no

Crown grant has been issued, but which is held under preemption or lease,

or agreed to be sold, granted or conveyed, or occupied shall be liable

(while so held or occupied or during the existence of such agreement) to

taxation from the date of preemption, record or lease or agreement to sell,

grant or convey (as the case may be), but such taxation shall not in any way

affect the rights of Her Majesty in such lands.

5.-(1) Subject to the provisions hereinafter contained, a valuation of the

value or annual value of property within the boundaries of every town shall

be made by the valuation officer and such valuation shall be returned in the

Preparation of

valuation rolls.

Certain Crown

property liable to

taxes.

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the Government of Belize.

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form prescribed in the First Schedule hereto to be known as the “valuation

roll”.

(2) Each local authority may, in respect of its town, appoint a

suitably qualified person as a valuation officer either generally or for a par-

ticular purpose, in relation to a valuation roll.

6.-(1) New valuation rolls shall be made so as to come into force on the lst

January, 1966 in respect of Belize City and on such dates as the Minister

may by Order appoint in respect of other towns; and thereafter new valuation

rolls shall be made for every town so as to come into force on the first day of

April in each fifth subsequent year.

(2) Every valuation roll shall remain in force until it is superseded by

a new valuation roll.

7.-(1) Where a new valuation roll is prepared for a town it shall be returned

in the form prescribed in the First Schedule by the valuation officer who shall-

(a) sign and date the same;

(b) transmit it to the local authority not later than the 31st

day of December preceding the date on which the

roll is to come into force in that town; and

(c) forthwith publish a notice in the Gazette and in one

or more newspapers that the roll has been completed

and transmitted to the local authority.

(2) A copy of the said roll shall be exhibited in one or more con-

spicuous place or places at the office of the local authority in the town to

which it relates and shall remain so exhibited for fourteen days at least. 1

Amended to take effect in respect of the financial year commencing 1st April, 1981 and

thereafter.

First Schedule.

20 of 1999.

Preparation of

new valuation

rolls.

6 of 1966.

6 of 1981.1

Duties of

valuation officer.

First Schedule.

6 of 1981.1

10

(3) The roll for a town so signed and sent to the local authority of

that town shall as from the date when it comes into force be the valuation

roll for that town, and any failure on the part of the valuation officer to

complete any proceedings with respect to the preparation and signing of the

roll within the time required by this Act, or any omission from such roll of

any matter required by law to be included therein, shall not of itself render

the roll invalid, and until the contrary is proved the roll shall be deemed to

have been duly made in accordance with this Act.

8. A valuation officer in respect of a town may put to the owner or to any

person in possession of property within that town questions in writing

relating to all matters as are necessary for the purpose of ascertaining the

particulars required to be transcribed in a valuation roll with regard to the

said property, and if any such owner or person in possession of such

property refuses or wilfully omits to answer any question in writing to the

best of his knowledge and belief or wilfully makes any false answer or

statement in reply to any question he is liable on summary conviction to a

penalty not exceeding fifty dollars.

9.-(1) A valuation officer, and any person authorised by him in writing in

that behalf, may at all reasonable hours in the daytime and after giving not

less than twenty-four hours notice in writing (and in the case of a person

authorised, on production, if so required, of his authority) enter on, survey

and value any property in any town in respect of which he has been ap-

pointed to act as valuation officer.

(2) If any person wilfully delays or obstructs any person in the

exercise of any of his powers under this section, he is liable on summary

conviction to a penalty not exceeding fifty dollars.

10.-(1) Any person who becomes the owner of any property on or after

the date on which this Act comes into force in respect of any town in which

such property is situated shall, within thirty days after becoming such owner,

give notice thereof in writing to the local authority of that town.

Valuers may put

questions in

writing to any

owner or occupier.

Power given to

valuers to enter

upon any property

at certain times.

Owner to notify

local authority of

acquisition of

property.

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Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

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(2) The local authority shall make such amendment to the particulars

relating to the party assessed in the valuation roll and in the rate book for its

town as are necessary in consequence of any such notice.

(3) Where as a result of such amendment it appears to the local

authority that the valuation in the valuation roll requires to be amended or that

an additional valuation requires to be inserted in that roll the local authority

shall forthwith inform the valuation officer of the matter and he shall cause

such alterations as he considers necessary to be made in the roll in accor-

dance with this Act.

(4) Any person who refuses or wilfully neglects to give notice in

accordance with subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not

exceeding fifty dollars.

11. Whenever the name of any person whose property has been assessed

under this Act is not known it shall be sufficient to refer to such person in the

valuation roll and in the rate book by the designation of “the owner” without

stating his name.

12.-(1) A local authority on receiving a valuation roll in accordance with

section 7 shall deposit it at the offices of the authority.

(2) Every local authority shall give effect to any directions which may

from time to time be given to such authority by a valuation officer acting in

accordance with this Act which authorise or require such valuation officer to

cause alterations to be made to the valuation roll in question.

(3) A valuation roll shall be open to inspection by any person rated

or interested in any rate at all reasonable times, and such owner or person

may take copies or extracts from such roll without fee.

13.-(1) If any person is aggrieved by the value or annual value at which his

property has been assessed he may at any time, by notice of appeal served

If name of owner

unknown, how to

be described.

Duty of local

authority as

respects

valuation roll.

Alterations to

the current

valuation roll.

12

on the valuation officer, appeal to the Valuations Appeal Board in respect of

the valuation of that property, and the valuation officer shall forthwith

transmit a copy of the notice of appeal to the local authority of the town in

which the property is situated.

(2) If a local authority of a town is aggrieved by the value or annual

value at which any property included in a valuation roll for that town has

been assessed, such authority may at any time, by notice of appeal served

on the valuation officer, appeal to the Valuations Appeal Board of that town

in respect of the valuation of such property, and the valuation officer shall

forthwith transmit a copy of the notice of appeal to the owner of such

property.

(3) The valuation officer of a town may direct the local authority

thereof to alter, amend or vary a valuation roll of that town for any reason:

Provided that where such a direction is given otherwise than in

pursuance of an appeal, the valuation officer of such town shall forthwith

give written notice of the alteration to the owner of the property, to which

the alteration relates, and such owner, and the local authority to whom the

direction is given shall have the same right of appeal as if the alteration,

amendment or variation had appeared on the current valuation roll as

originally made.

(4) Where a notice of appeal has been served under this section the

parties entitled to be heard on the hearing of the appeal may agree on an

alteration, amendment or variation of the roll (whether the alteration, amend-

ment or variation is that specified in the appeal or another alteration, amend-

ment or variation) and such agreement may be made at any time before the

determination of the appeal by the Valuations Appeal Board and the valua-

tion officer shall direct the local authority to alter the valuation roll in accor-

dance with the agreement.

(5) A notice of appeal under this section shall be in writing and

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No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

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signed by the appellant and shall contain a statement of the grounds of the

appeal.

14.-(1) Subject to this section, an alteration made in a valuation roll shall, in

relation to any rate current at the date when the notice of the alteration was

served by the valuation officer or the date on which the notice of appeal in

pursuance of which the alteration was made was served on the valuation

officer, be deemed to have had effect as from the commencement of the

period in respect of which the rate was made and shall, subject to this

section, have effect for the purposes of any subsequent rate.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), an alteration in a

valuation roll which either-

(a) consists of the inclusion in the valuation roll of a

newly erected or newly constructed property; or

(b) is made by reason of a change in the value or annual

value of a property caused by the making of struc-

tural alterations or additions thereto, or by the

destruction thereof, or by damage done to the

property; or

(c) is made by reason of any property previously valued

on the valuation roll as a single property being valued

in parts; or

(d) is made by reason of any property previously valued

on the valuation roll in parts being valued as a single

property; or

(e) is made by reason of any property previously valued

on the valuation roll as unoccupied becoming occu-

pied; or

Effective date

of alteration to

valuation roll.

14

(f) is made by reason of any property previously

valued on the valuation roll as occupied becoming

unoccupied; or

(g) is made by reason of any event whereby a property

or part of a property becomes, or ceases to be, not

liable to be taxed,

shall have effect only as from the date when the new or altered property

comes into occupation, or as from the happening of the event by reason of

which the alteration is made, as the case may be.

15.-(1) There shall be established in respect of each town, for the purpose

of hearing appeals against valuations made in pursuance of this Act, a

Valuations Appeal Board consisting of, in the case of Belize City, a magis-

trate and two other persons appointed by the Minister, and in the case of

any other town, the magistrate of the Judicial District wherein the town is

situated, and two other persons appointed by the Minister.

(2) Every member of a Valuations Appeal Board, not being an

officer of the public service of Belize, shall receive such remuneration as the

Minister may determine and such remuneration shall be a charge upon the

funds of the local authority.

(3) All persons appointed by the Minister to a Valuations Appeal

Board shall be appointed before 1st April in each year, and shall hold office

for one year from the said 1st April:

Provided that any Valuation Appeal Board appointed to hold office

for one year from the first day of January 1980 shall continue to hold office

until the last day of March 1981.

(4) In the event of an appointed member of a Valuations Appeal

Board retiring from office, or being absent from Belize or otherwise becom-

Valuations Appeal

Boards.

40 of 1963.

14 of 1982.

40 of 1963.

6 of 1981.

40 of 1963.

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Belmopan, by the authority of

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ing incapable of performing the duties of his office during the period of his

office, the Minister shall appoint another person in his place for the remainder

of the term of office of such member or for the period of incapacity of such

member, as the case may be.

(5) Where a notice of appeal to a Valuations Appeal Board is

served on a valuation officer, the valuation officer shall forthwith notify a

Belize City magistrate in the case of an appeal relating to property situated in

Belize City or, in the case of property situated in any other town, the magis-

trate of the Judicial District wherein that town is situated.

(6) Fourteen days’ notice of the time and place of the hearing of an

appeal shall be given by or on behalf of the magistrate to each of the parties

entitled to be heard on the appeal.

(7) On the hearing of an appeal by a Valuations Appeal Board-

(a) the appellant; and

(b) the valuation officer; and

(c) the local authority for the town in which the property

in question is situated when that authority is not the

appellant; and

(d) the party assessed in respect of the property to

which the appeal relates, when that party is not the

appellant,

shall be entitled to call witnesses and to examine any witnesses called before

the Board.

(8) After hearing the persons referred to in subsection (7) or such of

them as desire to be heard, the Valuations Appeal Board shall give such

14 of 1982.

16

directions with respect to the manner in which the property in question is to

be treated in the valuation roll as the justice of the case may require, and the

valuation officer shall cause to be made in the roll such alterations as are

necessary to give effect to those directions.

(9) The receipt of a notice of appeal shall not prevent a local

authority from recovering any rate.

(10) The payment of costs on appeal shall be in the discretion of

the Valuations Appeal Board, which shall order by and to whom they shall

be paid.

(11) The amount of such costs shall be an amount as the Chief

Justice may by rules prescribe, and payment thereof may be enforced as a

civil debt.

(12) In proceedings before a Valuations Appeal Board, evidence

may be taken on oath, which oath the magistrate on the Board is empow-

ered to administer, and any person giving false evidence in any proceedings

before a Valuations Appeal Board is liable to be indicted and punished for

perjury.

16.-(1) If any party to proceedings before a Valuations Appeal Board feels

aggrieved by the decision of the Valuations Appeal Board, he has the same

right of appeal from the decision of the Valuations Appeal Board, as if such

decision was a decision of an Inferior Court.

(2) The Chief Justice may make rules prescribing the practice and

procedure on appeal, and prescribing such forms as may be necessary.

(3) The payment of costs on such appeal shall be at the discretion

of the Supreme Court which shall order by and to whom they shall be paid

and the amount thereof shall be such as the Supreme Court may order.

Right of appeal

to the

Supreme Court.

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Belmopan, by the authority of

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17.-(1) The valuations contained in a valuation roll shall be the basis of all

rates determined by the local authority and every such valuation, subject to

amendment as provided by section 13, shall remain in force until a fresh

valuation is made.

(2) Every local authority shall cause such rate to be transcribed in a

book to be known as the “Rate Book” and it shall contain a list of all the

properties in the town, their situation, their value or annual value (as the case

may be), the amount of rate payable, the names of the parties assessed and

such other matters as may be required to conform with any regulations

relating to the keeping of accounts by local authorities.

(3) Where an alteration is made in a valuation roll which affects the

amount of any rate levied in respect of any property on the roll, the differ-

ence, if too much has been paid, shall be repaid or allowed or, if too little has

been paid, shall be paid and may be recovered as if it were arrears of the

rate.

18.-(1) Subject to sections 19 and 20, the local authority in respect of each

town shall, for the purpose of providing such funds as may be required for

carrying out its lawful functions and duties during the financial year beginning

on lst April in each year, by Order made on or before 15th April in the

preceding year, declare the rates to be levied and collected on all properties

situated within the limits of its town and liable to be taxed in accordance with

this Act.

(2) All Orders made under subsection (1) shall be subject to the

approval of the Minister, and the Minister, subject to sections 19 and 20,

may amend or vary such Orders and any Order so amended or varied shall

be deemed to have been duly made under subsection (1).

(3) If a local authority fails in any year to make an Order within the

time specified in subsection (1), the Minister subject to sections 19 and 20

may, before 30th April next ensuing, by an Order declare such rates as he

Provisions

as to rating.

Rates to be

declared each

year.

2 of 1980.

3 of 1985.

2 of 1980.

3 of 1985.

18

may consider necessary.

(4) All Orders approved or made by the Minister in accordance

with this section shall be published in the Gazette on or before 30th April

of the year in which they are made.

19. The rate to be levied under this Act in respect of unoccupied property

shall be assessed on the value thereof and shall be as follows-

(a) in respect of property of the value of three hundred

dollars and over, a rate not exceeding two per

centum per annum;

(b) in respect of property of a value less than three

hundred dollars, the sum of one dollar:

Provided that the sum of one dollar shall be the minimum rate

payable in respect of any property or holding of real property.

20.-(1) The rate to be levied under this Act in respect of occupied property

shall be assessed on the annual value thereof and shall be as follows-

(a) in respect of property of the annual value in excess

of thirty-five dollars, a rate not exceeding twelve

and one-half per centum per annum;

(b) in respect of property of an annual value of less than

thirty-five dollars, a rate not exceeding three per

centum per annum.

(2) The sum of one dollar shall be the minimum rate payable in

respect of any property or holding of real property.

Rates in respect

of unoccupied

property.

Rates in respect

of occupied

property.

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Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

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21.-(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 19 and 20 of this Act, the

property tax in Belize City shall be levied in accordance with the provisions

of this section.

(2) The rate of property tax to be levied in Belize City in respect of

any property, whether occupied or unoccupied, shall be assessed on the

market value thereof and such tax shall be applied towards the costs of

services provided by the Belize City Council and the maintenance of its

infrastructure.

(3) The rate of tax under this section shall be fixed by the Minister

annually on the recommendation of the Belize City Council but shall, in no

case, exceed two per centum of the market value of the property.

(4) This section shall come into force on a day to be appointed by

the Minister by Order published in the Gazette.

22.-(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the rate to be levied upon real

property and holdings of real property within the boundaries of any town by

the local authority thereof shall be due and payable on 1st April in each year

in respect of the ensuing period of twelve months beginning on such date.

(2) The rate levied for any year may be paid by two equal install-

ments on 15th May and 15th October in that year; but if the instalment

payable on 15th May in any year is not paid on or before that date, the

whole of the rate levied for that year shall become due and payable immedi-

ately after that date.

(3) When the rate payable by any person in respect of any year

does not exceed in the aggregate twenty dollars, such person shall be at

liberty to pay the amount levied by four equal instalments payable on the first

days of April, July, October of that year and January of the year following.

Rate of

property tax in

Belize City.

10 of 1994.

20 of 1999.

When rates due

and payable and

payments may be

made.

6 of 1981.

20

23.-(1) All rates payable under this Act shall be a charge on the property in

respect of which they are due, and shall take priority over any other charge

or debt due by specialty or otherwise:

Provided that such rates shall not be a charge on such property for

a period of more than five years from the date on which they first became

due and payable.

(2) Any person who has any charge or debt by specialty or other-

wise referred to in subsection (1) may pay the rates to which the property

subject to the charge or debt is liable, and he shall be entitled to add the

moneys thus paid to the debt or other sum charged as aforesaid, and

thereupon the increased charge or debt shall bear the same interest, and

may be enforced and recovered in the same manner, as the original charge

or debt.

24. All rates imposed under this Act in respect of any town shall be recov-

ered on summary conviction by any person authorised in writing by the local

authority of that town.

25. Whenever in any proceedings under section 24 the owner of property

cannot be found in Belize or is proved to be evading personal service, the

summons may be served by-

(a) leaving it at the usual or last known place of abode

of such owner with some adult inmate and explain-

ing the purport thereof to such inmate; or

(b) leaving it affixed to the door or any external wall of

any building, or if there be no building, to a tree or

post (the driving or placing of which post for such

purpose shall not be actionable), on the property for

which the rate is sought to be recovered; or

Rates a first

charge on

property.

Recovery of rates.

Service of

summons.

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Towns Property Tax [CAP. 65

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(c) publishing a copy of the said summons in three

consecutive issues of the Gazette.

26. In any information laid, summons or warrant issued or order made under

section 24, it shall not be necessary to insert the name of the owner of the

property in respect of which any rate is due and unpaid if after reasonable

inquiry it cannot be ascertained what is the name of the owner of such

property or whether there is any owner of such property, but instead of the

name of the owner of such property the words “the owner of”, followed by a

reasonable description of the said property, may be inserted.

27.-(1) Every summons issued under section 26 shall be served by-

(a) affixing and leaving affixed a copy of the summons

upon any building, wall, tree, post (and for this

purpose the driving or placing of a post shall not be

actionable) or other prominent place upon the

property described in the said summons; and

(b) affixing and leaving affixed a copy of the summons

upon some prominent place within or about the court

house building in which the information specified in

such summons is intended to be heard; and

(c) publishing a copy of the said summons in three

consecutive issues of the Gazette.

(2) At the time and place appointed in and by any such summons for

the hearing of the information therein specified, any person having or claiming

any estate or interest in the said property may appear in the same manner as

if the summons had been directed to him by name, but if no such person

appears, then upon proof that the summons has been served as provided in

this section and that the reasonable inquiry mentioned in section 26 has been

made, the information specified in the summons may be heard and adjudi-

When name of

owner need not

be inserted in

summons, etc.

Service and

hearing of

summons under

section 26.

22

cated upon ex parte:

Provided that if upon such hearing it is found that the whole or any

part of the rate specified in such information is due, the owner of the prop-

erty shall be adjudged to pay the rate so found to be due, together with such

costs, if any, as may be awarded, but no further order shall be made as to

distress or imprisonment in default of payment.

(3) Every order made ex parte upon any such summons shall be

published in three consecutive issues of the Gazette and, if after the expira-

tion of twelve months after the third publication of such order in the Gazette

the amount of the rate and the costs specified in such order has not been

paid, section 28 shall apply, and it shall be deemed that the costs of the

proceedings and the amount of the rate due and recoverable cannot be

raised by the sale of the goods and chattels of the owner of the property.

28.-(1) If after legal proceedings have been taken under section 24 the

costs of the proceedings and the amount of the rate due and recoverable

cannot be raised by the sale of the goods and chattels of the owner of the

property in respect of which the rate or any portion thereof is due but

remains unpaid, the magistrate before whom recovery of such rate was

sought or some person appointed by him shall, upon being required in

writing to do so by the local authority in question, sell either the whole of

such property or such part thereof as in his discretion may be selected and

marked off by him as sufficient to realize the required amount.

(2) All sales under this section shall be by public auction at such

time and in such manner as the magistrate in charge of the sale may think fit,

and a reserve price shall be fixed consisting of the entire amount of the rates

due at the time of the sale in respect of the property sold, and the costs and

expenses of all proceedings attending the recovery thereof, including those

of the sale.

Sale and

conveyance of

property to satisfy

rates.

,

No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Towns Property Tax [CAP. 65

[ ]

23

(3) Should the bid of the highest bidder reach the amount of the

reserve price, such highest bidder shall be declared the purchaser.

(4) On payment by the purchaser of the purchase money, the

magistrate in charge of the sale shall execute a conveyance of the property

sold and disposed of to the purchaser in the form in the Second Schedule

and such conveyance when signed and recorded in the manner required by

law shall, if the provisions of this Act necessary to authorise such sale have

been complied with, operate to confer on the purchaser an indefeasible title

to such property free from all encumbrances, fraud excepted.

(5) If a part only of the property, in respect of which the rate or any

portion thereof is payable but remains unpaid, is offered for sale, and there is

no bid for it equal to or in excess of the reserve price, the magistrate in

charge of the sale shall put up for sale in the manner before provided a larger

part or the whole of such property as he may in his discretion think necessary

to realise the required amount.

(6) In the event of the whole of such property being offered for sale

and there being no bid for it equal to or in excess of the reserve price, then

such property shall vest in Her Majesty for the use of the district in which it is

situate, and the magistrate shall issue a warrant containing a written statement

of the particulars of such land and the name, so far as it is known to him, of

the owner thereof and the date or dates of such abortive sale or sales, and

shall cause it to be recorded in the General Registry in the manner provided

by law, and on being so recorded such warrant shall, if the provisions of this

Act necessary to authorise such sale have been complied with, constitute an

indefeasible title in Her Majesty, free from all encumbrances, fraud excepted.

(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in the General Registry Act,

the Registrar General may receive without proof of execution, and record,

any document purporting to be signed by a magistrate under this section.

Second

Schedule.

CAP. 327.

24

(8) When the proceeds from any sale exceed the amount of the

entire rate due as aforesaid, and the costs and expenses of all proceedings

attending the recovery thereof (including those of the sale), the surplus shall,

when arising from the sale of property, be paid to the local authority of the

town in which such property is situate, and shall on demand be paid over to

such person as proves himself to the satisfaction of the local authority to be

entitled thereto.

(9) Should any difficulty arise in ascertaining the person entitled to

any such surplus proceeds of sale paid to a local authority on account of the

disability of the person entitled, or the existence of trusts or settlements or

other complication, such surplus may be paid into the Supreme Court to

abide any order or direction of that Court:

Provided that after the expiration of seven years to be computed

from the day of the sale, such surplus, if unpaid, shall be appropriated to the

funds of the local authority in question.

29.-(1) Where it is brought to the notice of a local authority that any owner

of property in its town is poor and indigent and unable to pay the rate on the

property or unable to pay more than a portion thereof, that local authority if

satisfied as to the truth of those facts shall, before any steps are taken to

enforce payment of such rate under this Act, transmit to the Minister for his

information a statement of the case containing the name of the owner, the

amount due by him for rates, a description of the property owned by him

and any evidence of the poverty of any such person or of his inability to pay

the whole or any portion of the rate.

(2) In all such cases the local authority in question, or any person

authorised by it, may make inquiries from such owner and any other person

who may be willing to give information respecting the circumstances of such

owner and take statements in writing in reference thereto.

Procedure where

owner is poor and

unable to pay rate.

40 of 1963.

,

No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Towns Property Tax [CAP. 65

[ ]

25

(3) The Minister may institute such further inquiry as he considers

necessary and may remit the whole or a portion of the rate then due, or allow

time for payment or make such other order as he may judge expedient.

30.-(1) Subject to subsection (2), all rates paid under this Act in respect of

any property in a town shall be placed to the credit of the funds of the local

authority of that town.

(2) All such rates paid in respect of Ambergris Caye (excluding the

area comprised in the Town of San Pedro), Caye Caulker and St. George’s

Caye shall be placed to the credit of the Government.

(3) All penalties imposed under this Act shall follow the disposition

of the rates in respect of which they are imposed.

31.-(1) In case the owner of any property on which any rate is payable

under this Act neglects to pay such rate or any part thereof in the manner

prescribed, the whole of such rate or such part of such rate as shall be unpaid

shall be paid by the person in possession of such property who may deduct

the amount paid together with compensation for all actual loss suffered in

consequences of any legal proceedings against him for any rent or issues or

profits thereof which may then be due or may thereafter become payable in

respect of such property, and in the event of any action being brought by the

owner of any property for the recovery of rent or issues or profits from any

such person in possession of such property, the court before whom such

action is brought shall allow to such person in possession the amount so paid

and the compensation for loss so sustained as aforesaid.

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect any agreement made between

the owner and the person in possession with regard to the payment of the

rate hereby imposed by the person in possession.

32. The Minister may by Order vary the time, within which any act or duty

is required to be done under this Act, or the date upon which any such act or

Disposition

of rates.

10 of 1994.

By whom taxes

to be paid.

40 of 1963.

Minister vary

time for doing

acts etc., under

26

duty is required to be performed.

33. Notwithstanding section 7(1)(b), the first valuation of property in Belize

City shall come into force in respect thereof on 1st January, 1966:

Provided that the valuation officer has transmitted the said valuation roll to

the Belize City Council on or before 30th June, 1966.

34.-(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Belize City

Council on the advice of the valuation officer may at any time before 1st

January, 1966 add to or amend the valuation roll now in force where-

(a) any property has been omitted from the valuation

roll; or

(b) the value or annual value of any property on the

valuation roll has been omitted from the roll; or

(c) the value or annual value or occupation of any

property on the valuation roll has changed since the

valuation roll was prepared.

(2) An addition or alteration made to the valuation roll under this

section shall come into force and have effect from the 1st January, 1965 or

from the date of the happening of the event which gave rise to the addition

or alteration, whichever is the later date, and such addition or alteration shall

continue in force until a new valuation roll made in accordance with this Act

comes into force or until a further alteration is sooner made in the valuation

roll with respect to such property.

(3) Whenever any addition or alteration is made to the valuation roll

in accordance with this section, the Belize City Council shall cause notice of

such addition or alteration to be served on the owner of the property to

which the addition or alteration relates.

this Act.

40 of 1963.

Savings in respect

of Belize City.

Alterations in

valuation roll for

Belize City before

January, 1966.

,

No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Towns Property Tax [CAP. 65

[ ]

27

e m a

N

f o

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S

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S

. o

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. o

N

f o

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28

SECOND SCHEDULE

[Section 28]

THIS INDENTURE, made the day of two thou-

sand , between (the Magistrate of the District) hereinafter

called the grantor of the one part, and C.D. of (hereinafter

called the grantee) of the other part, witnesseth that in consideration of the

sum of paid by the grantee to the grantor the receipt whereof

is hereby acknowledged, the grantor doth in pursuance of the provisions of

the Towns Property Tax Act, but not further or otherwise, grant and convey to

the grantee, his heirs and assigns, ALL THAT (describe premises conveyed

either by words of or reference to a plan or diagram thereto annexed).

In witness, etc. Signed A.L.

Magistrate,

District.

CAP. 65.

,

No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Towns Property Tax [CAP. 65

[ ]

29

THIRD SCHEDULE

[Section 2]

ALL AND SINGULAR those certain parcels or tracts of land and premises

situate, lying and being in the Belize District and being more particularly de-

scribed as follows:-

Commencing at Fort Georges Light House thence in a South Westerly direc-

tion for a distance of 2970 feet more or less across the mouth of Haulover

Creek on to a point being the most North Easterly point on Bird’s Isle; thence

for a distance of 990 feet more or less along the Southern coast of the said

Bird’s Isle then on to the most North Easterly point of a parcel of land known

now or formerly as New Brighton; thence in a Westerly direction along the sea

coast for a distance of 18,930 feet more or less to a point where the Southerly

extension of the Western boundary of parcel No. 115 as shown on plan 673 at

the Lands and Survey Department, Belmopan, intersects with the said sea coast;

thence on a true bearing of N 54° 25’ 55" W for a distance of 47.46 feet more

or less to a concrete pillar being the South West corner of the said parcel No.

115; thence on a true bearing of N 54° 25’ 55" W along the Western boundary

of the said parcel No. 115 and across the Western Highway for a distance of

1133.45 feet more or less to another concrete pillar; thence on a true bearing of

N 35° 22’ 10" E along the Northern limit of the Western Highway for a dis-

tance of 66.13 feet more or less to another concrete pillar; thence on a true

bearing of N 39° 07’ 30" E along the Northern limit of the said Western High-

way for a distance of 779.79 feet more or less to another concrete pillar; thence

on a true bearing of N 54° 25’ 55" W for a distance of 578 feet more or less to

another concrete pillar on the Eastern limit of the Burdon Canal; thence in a

North Easterly direction along the said limit of the Burdon Canal for a distance

of 8805 feet more or less to its intersection with the Southern bank of said

Haulover Creek; thence in a Northerly direction for a distance of 3030 feet

more or less to another concrete pillar on the Northern limit of the Northern

Highway being at the South West corner of the most Westerly parcel of land

9 of 1983.

30

comprising 11.04 acres more or less as shown on Plan No. 1694 at the Lands

and Survey Department, Belmopan; thence on a true bearing of N 2 1° 5 l’

54" E along the Western boundary of the said parcel for a distance of 699.76

feet more or less to another concrete pillar; thence on a true bearing of 21°

51’ 54" E for a distance of 77.99 feet more or less to a point on the sea coast;

thence in a Easterly direction along the sea coast for a distance of 24,502 feet

more or less back to the point of commencement.
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