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#252865 - 09 November 17 11:13 am - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
Osprey Offline

**

Registered: 22 March 04
Posts: 153
Loc: Placencia, Cape Cod, MA
I used Debbie for several years; she is reliable and honest. However, not being at the lands dpt. in person turned into a liability. OK, this is a little screwy but it turned out (for me at least) that even though I had title to the land, the tax bill remained in the former owner's name because there was always a credit to the account. In other words Debbie dutifully paid the tax bill for the land and that created a credit to the account.

I was told that unless the account balance goes to zero, they can not transfer the account to me. That took an entire day to rectify because there is only one woman in the Belmopan lands dpt. authorized to change the account name and she was always extremely busy (once I found her). She was very sweet and accommodating once we found her, but she had to credit us for the amount on the balance of the account so that it was zero; then change the owner of the account to me and then credit the account again for the balance that had been credited back to me. If all that sounds confusing and ridiculous, I agree. So for a new land owner, I would recommend that you go to the lands dpt., ensure that your name is on the tax bill, and then pay several years in advance.

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#252866 - 09 November 17 8:45 pm - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
GaryTobago Offline
Member

Registered: 02 June 12
Posts: 38
Thanks to you all, especially GZ. I will show up in person at the Corozal office and pay back taxes and pay forward for as long as they will allow. Gary

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#252931 - 06 December 17 10:38 pm - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
patje73 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 20 July 16
Posts: 12
I work with Debbie and feel very lucky that I have someone like her on my side. She helps me with everything in Belize.

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#252934 - 08 December 17 8:05 am - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
GZboat Offline

**

Registered: 18 June 06
Posts: 2490
Loc: Tarpon Springs, Fl./Copper Ban...
Osprey's story reminded me of my own 1st experience with Lands, that I had almost forgotten. I bought my place outright, had Barrow and Williams handle the transfer, and had my deed firmly in hand when I went to pay my property taxes at the Corozal office for the 1st time. This was before the modernization of the records. The local office had no idea the transfer had taken place, though it had happened 6 months before. Thankfully, the very competent, very patient clerk asked me one question, "Do you have your deed?" When I said yes , she smiled and got to work. About 45 minutes later everything was up to date, I had paid, and walked out with my receipt. It was an amusing experience. The clerk worked on her computer for 20 minutes or so and I thought we were done. Said something to that effect, which got another smile from her. Then she got up from her desk, went to the back, and returned with two huge, dusty ledgers. Spent the next 25 minutes copying everything she'd done on the computer into the ledgers, longhand. Classic Belize, especially the very professional clerk simply, patiently, making a older cumbersome system work. I guess the moral of this story, and Osprey's, is that it is best to go to the Land's Office in person every once in awhile to make sure all your records are correct, current, and properly squared away.
Greg


Edited by GZboat (08 December 17 8:07 am - America/Chicago)

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#253499 - 09 August 18 6:09 am - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
robles Offline
Member

Registered: 14 June 13
Posts: 36
Thought I would share a few experiences we are having with our property taxes.
We have a few different parcels. We do not get annual statements.
1) on Ambergris Caye our parcel we had a credit for 5 years.
a few years ago the title system changed in AC and we changed our parcel to the new system. We decided 6 mos. ago to call the office and check our balance on the acccount. We were suddenly owing a years taxes. In the change over they had made mistakes and there were int. arrears and charges.

So our experience is it can sometimes take a very very long time in getting things corrected. We thought we would just eat the cost and sent a cheque from our US $ account from US. followed up after 2 mos. said did not receive. Sent 2nd time said did not receive. 3rd time we followed up calling down we were told don't except cheques has to be a draft or money order. So sent draft 2 months ago. Sent request for our tax statements and still not applied. I am at a loss. We have correct address. They do not have any control systems so they can not tell you what problem is. Our only guess is now they are not excepting drafts. So now we have to put a trace on draft to get it cancelled to get our money back.

Regretably I see we only have two alternatives:
1) either use the person in this thread to handle it
2) come down and pay in person

I still find it worrisome though that of the irreconciable audit trail on the parcel from the tax dept including arrears charges when in fact we had a credit balance.

Hopefully we were only a one off that has experienced this as it would be a big surprise to a land owner that prepaid 5 years to find out in arrears or perhaps property sold for taxes when don't get statements.

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#253501 - 09 August 18 9:24 am - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
GZboat Offline

**

Registered: 18 June 06
Posts: 2490
Loc: Tarpon Springs, Fl./Copper Ban...
Interesting, robles, and thanks for sharing that. I had assumed that I no longer got statements because I was paid in advance. Has the Lands Office just stopped sending out annual statements altogether? I sure would like to hear if anyone continues to receive statements, in Belize or in other countries.
Greg

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#253502 - 09 August 18 11:50 am - America/Chicago Re: paying property tax. Help Please! [Re: scottemmert]
britinbelize Online   content

**

Registered: 01 June 14
Posts: 288
Loc: Bay area CA + Belmopan
The lands office advertised in all the local papers in June that all land taxes and arrears had to be paid by July 30th. After that they would start adding arrears fees and would seize land with arrears of long standing.
We have never had a statement or notice to pay but luckily we are close to the land registry in Belmopan. So can go in and pay usually sometime in the spring.
We were told the first year we had tax to pay they only take Belize cash> so obliged but last year forgot to pick up the csh and they took a Local Belize Scotia bank check, as they did again this year.
Needless to say the lines all through June and July were very long as folks rushed to pay.
In line a local Belizean told my son when that they put that ad in the paper they mean business, they do it about every 5 years and do claim land parcels for non payment. Tax is due on Leased land which is often the land forfeited for non payment.
I have never liked the idea of the advance payments as the paperwork is so cumbersome in the land registry, as they still use huge ledgers for recording everything I felt track of it could easily be lost.
About 2 years ago all the taxes on our 5 lots were increased by about $5 or $6 each lot and we were old it was a nationwide rise.Also if we were to sell any of our lots they would be reassessed and the new owner wulld have a much bigger tax bill.
_________________________
We came to the states for our last adventure before we die but as we didn't die yet, there is time for another adventure this time back to Belize.

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