Land Tenure

The Land and Surveys Department, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNRE) has prime responsibility for all aspects of land tenure in Belize. The department's primary functions are:

  • Management and allocation of national lands
  • Registration of Land Tenure
  • Authentication of Plans for alllegal surveys
  • Sub-division of lands
  • Valuation of Lands
  • Land Use Planning
  • Land Information Management

Structure of the Department

The department is headed by the Commissioner of Land and Surveys, who is guided by the relevant Acts. The Commissioner is supported by two Deputy Commissioners who assist by dealing with technical matters regarding land tenure, policy implementation, and related administrative issues.

To effectively administrate each function, the department is organized into "Sections" and services are delivered through the following Sections:

National Estate

Processing of application of national land, land transfers and other related activities

Surveys and Mapping

Approval of plans and map creation, adjustments and permission to survey

Land Information Center

Manages the department's GIS and provides maps and statistics to internal and external customers

Valuation

Determination of values for land

Revenue

Collects revenue generated by the department's activities

Land Registry – titles

Registration of transactions in land within compulsory registration areas (Land Registry) and other unregistered lands (Land Titles)

Physical Planning

Responsible for approval of sub-divisions plans and promotion of National land use planning network

Each section is further supported by six district lands offices whose main functions are to collect taxes and rents, accept applications for land related services, and assist in settling land disputes. Though each section has a specific focus,the activities are inextricably linked and sections are dependent on each other to provide the required services to the public.

The department performs its functions in accordance the following principal acts and the regulations made there-under;

  • Bills of Sale
  • General Registry
  • Land Acquisition (Public Purpose)
  • Land Acquisition (Promoters)
  • Land Adjudication
  • Land Surveyors
  • Land Tax
  • Land Utilization
  • Registered Lands
  • National Lands
  • Private works construction
  • Administration of Estates
  • Law of Property
  • Strata Titles Registration

Courtesy: World Bank's Doing Business Report

Registering Property in Belize

Registering Property in Belize

Procedure Time to Complete Cost to Complete
Conduct a search of the property
records at the Lands Department
1 Day NO COST
*Obtain tax clearance from the
Lands Tax Department
1 Day
(Simultaneous with
procedure 3)
NO COST
*Tax clearance stamped on
the transfer instrument
5-10 days
(Simultaneous with
procedure 2)
NO COST
Property is valued by the
Valuation Department
10-30 days NO COST
Justice of the Peace attests
the transfer instrument
1 Day NO COST
Pay registration fees and
stamp duty
1 - 2 Days 15 BD x 2 (for land certificate and
registration) + 5% (property value
after the first BD 20000) (stamp duty)
Register the transfer at the
Lands Registry
21 - 30 days (paid in procedure 6)
Notify City Council of changes in ownership 1 - 2 days NO COST

* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

Land Tax

This tax is collected by the Department of Lands, and is assessed based on the unimproved value of the land. The table below details the values for each district represented in Belize Dollars ($BZD).  Land is taxed at the rate of 1%.

Declared Unimproved Values per Acre (by District)

Categories Corozal and
Orange Walk
Cayo Belize Stann Creek Toledo
Agricultural
l30 acres or less
$ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00 $ 100.00
Agricultural
31 to 300 acres
$ 500.00 $ 550.00 $ 600.00 $ 500.00 $ 100.00
Agricultural
301 acres or more
$ 600.00 $ 650.00 $ 700.00 $ 600.00 $ 300.00
Sub-urban $ 1,000.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 1,500.00 $ 700.00 $ 500.00
Beaches & Cayes $ 10,000.00 N/A $ 10,000.00 $ 10,000.00 $ 5,000.00
Village lots
(1 acre or less)
$ 1,000.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 500.00

Stamp Duty/Transfer Tax

Land Tax or Stamp duty or Transfer tax is governed by the Stamp Duties Act, Chamber 64 of the Laws of Belize. This tax is payable collected to the Department of Lands, and is assessed based on the unimproved value of the land.  Both Nationals and foreigners are required to pay 5% of the value of the land. If the value of the land is below US$10,000, then the land is tax exempt.

The table below provides a schedule of fees based on the type of transaction for acquiring land.

Fee Schedule

CHARGES
Form No. Transaction Stamp Duty Registration Certificate
R.L.1 Transfer of Land 5% & 10% of purchase price or market value $ 15.00 $ 15.00
R.L. 2 Transfer of Lease 5% & 10% of purchase price or market value $ 15.00 $ 15.00
R.L.3 Transfer of Charge $0.30 on every part of $50.00 $ 15.00
R.L.4 Transfer of chargee in
exercise of power of sale
5% & 10% of purchase price or market value $ 15.00 $ 15.00
R.L.5 Transfer of profit
R.L.6 Transfer by personal representatives $ 15.00 $ 15.00
R.L.7 Lease or sublease $0.75 - $6.00
R.L.8 Charge $15.00 to every $1,000 and $0.75 on part of $50.00 $ 15.00
R.L.9 Discharge of charge $0.30 on every $50.00 or part thereof $ 15.00
R.L.10 Surrender of Lease $ 15.00
R.L.11 Grant of easement $ 15.00
R.L.12 Grant of profit 5% & 10% of purchase price or market value $ 15.00
R.L.13 Release of profit, easement or restrictive agreement $ 15.00
R.L.14 Application for partition $15.00 for each resulting parcel
R.L.15 Power ofattorney $ 15.00 $ 15.00
R.L.16 Notice of revocation of power of attorney $ 15.00
R.L.17 Application to be registered as proprietor by transmission $ 15.00 $ 15.00
R.L.18 Caution $ 15.00
R.L.19 Application for first registration $ 5.00
R.L.20 Notice of intention to appeal the Supreme Court $ 15.00
R.L.21 Application to inspect the register $ 5.00
R.L.22 Application for certified/uncertified copy $20.00 & $10.00, respectively
R.L.23 Application for official search
R.L.24 Certificate of official search
R.L.25 Mutation $15.00 per
resulting parcel
$15.00 per
resulting parcel
(a) Application to combine/subdivide $15.00 on each resulting parcel $15.00 on each resulting parcel
(b) Variation of charge $15.00 to every $1,000 and $0.75 on part of$50.00 $ 15.00
(c) Transfer of undivided shares 5% & 10% of purchase price or market value $ 15.00 $ 15.00
(d) Deletion of death of a joint proprietorship
(e) Severance of joint proprietorship $ 15.00 $ 15.00
(f) Forfeiture of lease No charge
(g) Termination of lease No charge
(h) Withdrawal of caution
(i) Rectification of the register
(j)
Variation of the term of lease $ 15.00 $ 15.00
Application for lost land/lease certificate $100.00 for publication fee $15.00 for replacement certificate

Property Tax

Property tax is levied and controlled by the respective city councils in each district.Within the City of Belmopan the rate of property tax is set at 2% of the site value as assessed by the Belmopan City Council. On the other hand, the Belize City Council utilizes the rate of 2.5% of the assessed value.

Municipal Garbage Disposal Rates

The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development in accordance with the Town Councils (Control of Refuse) By-Laws 2005 (Statutory Instrument No. 13 of 2005) has declared the following rates for the collection of garbage for 2011-12.

MUNICIPAL GARBAGE RATES
COROZAL TOWN COUNCIL 
Commercial garbage  $40.00 per month
Mo' Supermarket, 5th Avenue $40.00 per month
Young Feng Store, 5th Avenue $40.00 per month
Ri You Lin, Santa Rira Road $40.00 per month
Chico's Tortilla Factory, 7th Avenue $40.00 per month 
Circle K, 6th Street South $40.00 per month 
Felice Restaurant, Park Street South $40.00 per month 
Sky Blue Restaurant, Park Street South  $40.00 per month
Las Palmas Hotel, 5th Avenue  $35.00 a load (treess, branches, concrete debris etc. 
Excess garbage for residents $50.00
Pickups/Van $75.00
ORANGE WALK TOWN
Large Business $52.00 per month
Medium Sized Businesses $13.00 - $26.00 per month
Small Businesses $8.00 - $13.00 per month
BELIZE CITY COUNCIL
Mom and Pops $10.00
All Business establishments except Mom and Pops
First Cubic yard of Garbage $34.20
Additional garbage above the first cubic yd. $24.20
5% penalty on late payment of fees
Dump Site Fees
First Cubic yard of Garbage $32.00
Additional garbage above the first cubic yd. $22.00
SAN PEDRO TOWN COUNCIL
Restaurant
Deli/Fast Food $25.00 per month
Medium $75.00 per month
Large $125.00 per month
Hardware
Small $100.00 per month
Large $200.00 per month
Hotels/Resorts
Small $150.00 per month
Medium $200.00 per month
Large $250.00 per month
Resort $300.00 per month
Shops/Supermarkets
Shops (small) $50.00 per month
Shops (large) $75.00 per month
Supermarkets $250.00 per month
Bars $50.00 per month
Clubs $75.00 per month
Gift Shops $100.00 per month
Meat Shops $75.00 per month
Golf Cart Rentals $75.00 per month
Fruit & Vegetable Shop
Small $75.00 per month
Large $125.00 per month
Banks  $25.00 per month
Real Estate $25.00 per month
Free to enter Dump site 
Small Vehicle $5.00 per trip
Large Vehicle  $10.00 per trip
Apartments with more than 4 units $10.00 per apartment per month
Rooms more than six (6) $50.00 per month
Residential $10.00 per month
BELMOPAN CITY COUNCIL
Residential $5.00 per month
Commercial Fees $12.00 per month for small business
$25.00 per month for medium business
$50.00 per month for large business
Refuse and Debris $75.00 per load (14 cubic yards)
BENQUE VIEJO TOWN COUNCIL
Household Garbage $6.00 per month
Small Businesses $15.00 per month
Medium Business $25.00 per month
Large Businesses $45.00 per month
DANGRIGA TOWN COUNCIL
Household garbage $8.00 per month
Commercial large Businesses $80.00 per month
Commercial Medium Businesses $40.00 per month
Commercial Small Businesses $20.00 per month
Garden/Yard Waste $25.00 per cubic yard
Construction Waste $25.00 per cubic yard
White Goods $10.00 per unit minimum rate
(Freezers/Refrigerators'/Stoves/AC/Washers)
Derelict Vehicle
Cars $50.00
Pickups/Van $75.00
PUNTA GORDA TOWN COUNCIL
Household Garbage $5.00 per month
Small Businesses $30.00 per month
Large Businesses $10.00 per week
Garden/Yard Waste $15.00 per cubic yard
Construction Waste $15.00 per cubic yard
White Goods $5.00 per unit minimum 
Refrigerator/range/computers/AC Unit/Freezer - $7.00 per unit
Derelict Vehicles $25.00 per car; $35.00 per pickup/van/other


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