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Property tax ruling delayed...State to object to lawsuit
Justice Frank Seepersad has deferred his decision on the legality of property tax forms to allow the State an opportunity to be heard later today.
Seepersad, presiding in the San Fernando High Court, was expected to rule on an ex-parte application filed by former government minister Devant Maharaj by 2 pm.
But before his decision, the judge was informed that the State wanted to have a say in the matter.
As a result, the judge granted her request and stood down the matter until 3.45 pm to hear from the State's lead attorney Deborah Peake via video conference from the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain.
Maharaj, through his team of attorneys led by Anand Ramlogan SC, is seeking leave to file for judicial review to challenge the legality of the property tax enforcement.
However, as a interim relief they are asking the judge to stay or grant an injunction to put a stop to citizens filing and submitting of the Property Tax forms until the determination of the judicial review hearing.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the Attorney General and Commissioner of Valuations. Maharaj is contending that the enforcement of the property tax in his current form and the requirement of citizens to file the forms are illegal, unconstitutional and ultra fires.
Just two days ago Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that the May 22 deadline for filling the forms have been extended to June 5 after the rush by citizens to submit forms at the various centres.