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Letter: Jamaica government should use the right valuation method for North-South Link lands
Published on May 11, 2017Email To Friend    Print Version

davies_chinese_land_deal.jpg

Dear Sir:

If the right valuation methods were used in the Chinese land deal to value the government's contribution in building the North-South Link Highway, it would have significantly reduced the cost of the highway, which the Jamaican people have to pay for in taxes or tolls. It makes you wonder about whether our government can truly say they are acting in the best interest of the people whenever they are divesting public assets.

Now, if the toll rates are indexed to the American dollar, which they are, then the land values must also be comparable to similar land prices in the USA using the land-residual approach to valuation based on the highest and best use of the land. So the land can only be valued appropriately when the Chinese declare their intended use of the land, which should have been done in the negotiations.

I have been calling for a congressional-style budget office as in the case of the US government to value and price government's investment decisions as well as programs to ensure that taxpayers are getting value for money and to ensure that these policy decisions will have the desired social and economic effects.

SIlbert Barrett
 
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