Letters to the Editor

Careful, we're too generous with tax 'giveback'

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I applaud the Government for getting rid of two nuisance taxes — the Minimum Business Tax and asset tax — and for increasing the General Consumption Tax (GCT) threshold from $3 million to $10 million. These measures will help small businesses immensely.

However, for a country with an antiquated property tax regime — land taxed on its unimproved value), no capital gains tax regime, a very weak income tax regime, and an unbalanced budget (wherein we constantly borrow to finance the country's budget) — Jamaica is in no position to forego over $10 billion in tax revenue.

It will cost the country over $10 billion to finance the reduction of transfer tax from five per cent to two per cent (the potential revenue loss from this measure is $3.431 billion), to implement a flat rate for stamp duty on certain transactions (the potential revenue loss from this measure is $6.650 billion), and to increase the estate tax threshold from $100,000 to $10 million (the potential revenue loss from this measure is $0.287 billion).

As a country, we continue to hang our hats where our hands cannot reach.

Trevor H Francis

Kingston 10


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