Budget is hanging our hat where our hands cannot reach

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Dear Editor,

I applaud the government in getting rid of two nuisance tax (the minimum business tax & asset tax), and for increasing the GCT threshold from $3 million to $10 million. All those 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 forgo 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 $100K 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

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