Monday, August 12, 2013

Property Taxes are Paid! (Finally)

You might recall that back in April I had a post about our first attempt to pay our property taxes. It was on that initial visit to the Lands Department when we found out that even though our Land Certificates (a.k.a. deeds) had been officially ours for a year, there was no record of them in the system.

We went back multiple times in the last few months to get an update. The time before last, progress had been made. We were in the system, but the calculations of what we owed hadn't been figured out.

So we waited another couple of weeks and tried again. And, EUREKA! We finally found out what we owed. But, of course, making the payment wasn't quite as quick as one might have hoped.

After we handed our certificates to the clerk, she oh-so-slowly tapped one key at a time on her computer keyboard.

She found our records.

With the first certificate in her hands, she oh-so-slowly reached for a sticky note.

The sticky note was affixed to the certificate.

Then secured with a paper clip.

Another set of keystrokes.

Then she carefully wrote the parcel number down on the sticky note.

Then the tax year.

Then the amount of taxes owed for that lot.

This routine was repeated three more times for the remaining certificates. All told, it probably took about 20 minutes for her to complete the task. It was as much fun as watching paint dry.

But it wasn't over yet.

She then needed to print out a receipt. I thought there would be one receipt for all four certificates. But no -- a separate receipt was required for each one.

So after picking up the first certificate, she oh-so-slowly removed the paper clip.

Then she removed the sticky note.

A few keystrokes later, the receipt details were sent to the dot matrix printer that had the spindle-fed receipt forms.

Finally the first receipt was ready.

Then after the clerk oh-so-slowly ripped the first receipt at the perforation, she then very carefully removed the spindle feed bits on either side. Oh mercy.

After finally locating her stamp, she pressed it slowly, but firmly to the top copy. Then after a short pause, initialled the receipt.

This whole process was repeated another three times. It was at this point we remembered that it's possible to pay your property taxes for 2-3 years versus just one. But we were soooooo close to having all our paperwork that we decided to just forget about it until next year.

Approximately 45 minutes after initially handing over our stuff, we found out how much we owed: a whopping $10.40 BZD for each parcel to make a grand total of $41.60 BZD or $20.80 USD.

We thought it a bit odd that all four parcels were taxed for the same amount, as each are slightly different in size. But you go with the flow, and for what little needed to be paid, I just wrote this whole process off as another exercise in patience.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray! Another step completed. Keep una ñoña nd that he ngs may change again, someday. We ownef and paid taxes once our property since 2007. This year they discovered the house was on it.The house has been there since long nefore we bought the place.