Trinidad and Tobago
National Urban Policy
Trinidad y Tobago is a parliamentary republic. There are two types of local government: municipal corporations in Trinidad and a single House of Assembly in Tobago. The principal legislations regarding local governments are the Municipal Corporations Act in Trinidad and the Tobago Island Government Bill, which recently came out to update and reform the functions of the Tobago’s government. In Trinidad the Municipal Corporations Act was updated and reformed with the Local Government Reform Bill of 2019 in an attempt of developing decentralization mechanisms which allowed them to collect and use property taxes as well as fines and fees.
On the contrary The Tobago House of Assembly does not have the authority to collect or raise taxes except in behalf of the central government. The principal income of local governments in Trinidad and Tobago are the transfers made by the central government, which are especially important for the income of Tobago given that they cannot collect their own revenue.
The territorial planning processes in Trinidad and Tobago are grounded in the Planning and Facilitation of Development Act (2010) which presupposes the creation of schemes both on the national and subnational realm. The central government and its planning authorities hold the key role on both of these levels. Moreover, in recent years several national instruments including aspects of urban and territorial planning have been put forward, for instance, the Vision 2030 – the National Development Strategy of Trinidad y Tobago 2016-2030 and the National Spatial Development Strategy (NSDS). They propose various strategies to address the topics of accessible housing, infrastructure, sustainable urban development and thriving human settlements. This paves the way for new advancements in this matter in this Carribean state.