Boost for horseracing as Gov’t removes GCT on imported horses – Clarke
The horseracing industry has received a major shot in the arm with the announcement that the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on imported horses will be removed.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Minister of Finance, Dr Nigel Clarke, as he opened the 2022/23 Budget Debate at Gordon House.
It is a welcomed announcement for the local horseracing sector that has long lamented that the tax served as a deterrent to their efforts to boost the stock of horses which has declined in quality, and which in turn has affected interest in the sport of horseracing.
Clarke noted that apart from making horses more affordable, the move will also boost the dwindling number of quality horses on the island. He said the falling numbers was making the sport, which he described as a “big part” of the domestic economy activity in certain parts of Jamaica, “unattractive”.
He said importation would help to improve the quality of the local breeding stock.
The minister noted that while the broodmare stock has been increasing since 2010, up to 40 per cent and more of the broodmare stock was either barren or not bred.
In justifying the decision to remove the GCT, Clarke pointed out that every additional 100 horses in the industry creates an immediate multiplier effect on direct employment of grooms, trainers, exercise riders, jockey agents and agricultural workers.
“It also serves to increase race days and by extension revenue from those events,” he said.
“You have something (horseracing) that is supposed to be a revenue measure (for government) but it is such a disincentive that nothing is coming in and at the same time a subsector is declining,” he added.
The finance minister said that removing the GCT will allow economic agents to pursue their interests “and what we have is the potential for more jobs and more economic activities”.