Should domestic rating system be replaced with services tax?

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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A Tynwald committee has been set up to investigate replacing the domestic rating system with a fair local services tax.

It comes after restaurateur David Buttery’s petition for redress of grievance – which was presented on Tynwald Day in 2009 – was taken up by Douglas West MHK Chris Thomas.

Mr Buttery’s call was for a unified local services tax, which would be paid by all residents of working age to 75.

After presenting the petition he told the Isle of Man Examiner: ‘The ratepayers of Douglas are unfairly subsidising people from out of Douglas, who come to the town and use the facilities we are paying for.’

Mr Thomas was appointed to the committee along with Brenda Cannell (Douglas East) and Alfred Cannan (Michael).

The committee will be able to take written and oral evidence on the issue.

Following an amendment by Treasury Minister Eddie Teare, the committee must report back to Tynwald by October.

Mr Teare said it would then fit in with a new fiscal strategy to be announced by next year’s Budget.

Alex Downie said the current system was ‘out of kilter’.

At present, the rateable values of properties is based on data from 1971.

New or altered property is subsequently related to these values.

The Chief Minister has admitted the new £50 per household sewerage charge is unfair.

And a new, fairer system will be introduced as part of a wider review of the domestic rating system.

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