JCC happy with $14-b tax giveback

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THE Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) yesterday congratulates the Government for the pro-growth initiatives announced in Thursday’s budget presentation by Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke.

“The announced abolition of the Minimum Business Tax, the abolition of the Asset Tax for non-financial businesses; the movement of the GCT threshold from $3 million to $10 million; the reduction of the transfer tax on real estate transactions from five per cent to two per cent; and the replacement of the ad valorem Stamp Duty with a fixed rate of $5,000 per transaction, include many initiatives for which we have long advocated, and we are confident that they will be well-received by the business community at large,” the JCC said in a release yesterday.

It said, however, that it would rather the abolition of the Asset Tax be applicable to all businesses.

Said the JCC: “We are also pleased that the net reduction in taxes announced was framed as a return of benefits to the Jamaican people for their sacrifice over the years, which has led us to an improving economy and allowed for a reduction in the primary surplus requirement from seven per cent to 6.5 per cent.

“Of note, the minister also underscored that the tax reduction would not reduce the nation’s continuing focus on its debt reduction programme and would allow for an expansion of the social safety net for the most vulnerable. We believe that such attention to balance is to be saluted.”

The JCC said it will continue to listen keenly to the other contributions to the 2019/2020 budget debate, and expects that additional information will emerge as the debate cycle progresses over the weeks ahead. “We believe, though, that the minister’s opening presentation augurs well for the stated objective of growth with equity, the JCC said.”

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