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Fnm To Start Making Good On Tax Promises In Budget

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K Peter Turnquest

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday the Minnis administration intends to begin making good on its tax-related promises in next week’s budget presentation.

While he did not discuss specifics, Mr Turnquest said that the administration is “working very diligently” on the matter.

The Free National Movement has promised to remove value added tax (VAT) from breadbasket items and from education, electricity and health related services.

The FNM has also promised to create an Over-the-Hill tax free zone, creating a menu of concessions for businesses and residents in inner city areas, including no business license fees or real property taxes, no household furniture tax, no taxes on capital goods and business equipment and lower import duties on business vehicles.

Mr Turnquest did not say which tax reductions the government will prioritise in next week’s budget, saying he will leave that for the budget presentation.

He did say, however, that there will be “no tax increases” revealed next week, which could mean possible VAT related reductions won’t be offset by increases in customs duties or excise taxes, as an example.

The FNM’s tax promises were heavily criticised in the lead up to the May 10 election by not only prominent voices in the business community but by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well.

Experts say VAT in particular is most effective when its base is broad, with few exemptions and a rate that is low.

Chamber of Commerce President Gowon Bowe has said, for instance, that creating exemptions will prompt employers to increase the prices of their goods and services to offset operating costs.

Mr Turnquest has defended the FNM’s tax pledges, however, telling The Tribune earlier this month that they “understand how (they’re) going to do it.”

“(We) know what benefits we are seeking to achieve by doing it, and that is to cause job creation and development in the inner city.”

Mr Turnquest also said the new administration may have been “hamstrung” by the former administration in its goal to deliver a balanced budget and to deliver on all of its tax related pledges in the short term.

Comments

Publius 2 years ago

Is the priority here rushing promises or making sound fiscal decisions for the country at this critical period?

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Islandboy242242 2 years ago

Better deploy and enforce that tax-free zone properly, sounds like an engineered loop-hole for persons to capitalize on. And what happens when the inner-city small businesses say they can't or don't have the means to account for everything properly?

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

What incentives will the FNM put in place to repopulate the southern islands????????? ....... Or does the government intend to abandon those islands to Cuba, Haiti and the DR??????

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Comrade Minister KP, put some teeth in them tax concessions to block-out land speculators - making it impossible for the greedy speculators to buy and flips properties/businesses and business licenses.
NO FOREIGNERS, OR THEIR NATIVE FRONTS, NEED APPLY FOR CONCESSIONS...PERIOD......NO DAMN EXCEPTIONS!!!

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

The re-development of Over-the-Hill should mean clearing the land between Bay Street to Wulff Road ..... Nassau Street to Village Road ..... and starting over ....... Anything short of that would be a waste of public funds

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birdiestrachan 2 years ago

The FNM party can do what ever they please they have the numbers. but the results will be a different story. "it is the people time"

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Comrade the reds are the majority elected government and we all need them to better succeed at governing and that requires that KP manages the state's affairs and finances- better than the previous administration's minister of finance.
I just wish Minister KP - could agree to hold regular town hall meetings, before they commit the government and the treasury's monies to various projects.
I will say that on the surface of what I've observed - KP is the prime minister's best pick for minister of finance ....... just don't try please too many of the wrong people....okay?

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B_I_D___ 2 years ago

Leave VAT alone...if you make it too damn complicated it will lead to corruption and loopholes as said earlier...instead, let's lower the duty as promised by the previous government and you see the prices come down on the shelf. Cost of living on a whole will drop with the duty going away. Focus on that and leave VAT alone.

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DDK 2 years ago

Best idea. It IS what was promised at the inception of the VAT presentation. Some duties were reduced slightly but due to the structure of VAT, reduction in prices or even levelling off of prices was not realized. However, the removal of VAT from electrical bills, educational and medical bills would certainly go quite a long way and bring some level of relief to a struggling population.

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Comrades! I must say how impressed I have been with the tempo of Zhivargo Laing's, new talk show on Guardian Radio. A great talk asset at Guardian.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by TalRussell

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John 2 years ago

Yes the inner cities need relief and a stimulus to drive growth and redevelopment, but it must be a carefully thought out plan. And at the same time government must cease handing tax breaks and concessions on a silver platter to Bah Mar or even to Freeport's Port Authority unless they are proven worthy of such. While the jury may still be out on Bah Mar, Freeports Authority is found wanting. Unemployment in Freeport is at its highest ever and the highest in the country. The primary objective should be to get the economy rolling, pay down some debt and reduce taxes for everyone.

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John 2 years ago

The biggest problem Donald Trump faces in his campaign to Make America Great Again ", campaign is to find workers for the companies that want to move their factories back to the US and to, at the same time, find workers to rebuild the infrastructures of America. Trump took over an economy with less than 5% unemployment, but not only that legal citizens had quality jobs so much so that illegal immigrants could to the US and find two or three jobs to n some states. This was caused by policies of manufacturing companies , to ncluding the 'Big Three' car companies as far back as the year 2000. These companies started requiring their factory workers to have college degrees. So families who had worked for Ford and GM and Chrysler for many generations found they were no longer employable at those companies. So they , some of them, decided to send their children to college. Those who couldn't afford had their children work at fast food restaurants and convenience stores. Others joined gangs and many died young or went to prison. In the main time companies including the Big 3 decided to take their operations overseas: to China, to Japan, to Mexico and to other countries around the world. They didn't realize that the hundreds of thousands of workers they displaced in America were also their biggest customers. So as American companies turned abroad for their operations, so did the American consumer. And so nothing is made in America anymore. At least one of the big 3 car companies is in financial trouble again. So much so that Ford fired its CEO in the wake of slumping sales. The reason for the falloff uncertain. But one thing is for sure. Americans are no longer shy to drive Japanese vehicles, especially in these times of high gas prices and the wide selection of fuel efficient Japanese cars. The generation of factory workers who decided to go on and get a college education also decided they did not want to return to the factory. At least not to work on the assembly line. And since it was the American factory that gave them the shaft, they find no guilt in not buying American.

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concernedcitizen 2 years ago

You literally just make shit up ,,the big three never started requireing there line workers to have college degrees ,,what took a lot of the jobs for only high school educated line folk was automation ..You claim the big three took their operations to Mexico ,china etc ,,lots of college educated factory workers there ???Dude you are the Dunning/kruger syndrome /effect to a T

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John 2 years ago

Still waiting on you to show what I made up.

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DDK 2 years ago

You forgot the weapons and military vehicles proudly made in U.S.A.!

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DEDDIE 2 years ago

The Bahamas problem is some what different. Our problem is that we have high unemployment and also have a high unemployable grouping of people. The unemployable grows every year. Ironically, they don't view themselves as the problem but blames their plight on the government. Another problem the government faces is the fact that our indigenous population(generational Bahamian) lack the motivation to take advantage of a free education. These two problems will continue to hamper our development and economic trajectory.

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BMW 2 years ago

You are correct Debbie, many in the unemployment line are unemployable. Every year the line gets longer. The lack of desire to do better, everything is supposed to be given rather than earned. .

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concernedcitizen 2 years ago

Also we beat the snot out of kids under the guise of spare the rod . Nearly Every study shows beating kids just teaches them to solve conflicts w violence and produces anti social young adults .A 50 yr study of 120,000 kids was just released showing this ,The Nordic countries many of which outlaw corporal punishment have the lowest crime rates in the world

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

I LIKE THIS, CONCERNED. I HAVE 4 CHILDREN, NEVER BEATEN FOR ANYTHING. HEY HAVE 6 COLLEGE DEGREES BETWEEN THEM AND 3 OF THEM LIVE IN PROPERY THAT THEY BOUGHT FOR THEMSELVES.

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

CORRECTION NEEDED. THE BAHAMAS HAS NO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. PEARL DIVING KILLED THEM ALL OVER 300 YEARS AGO. WHITE BAHAMIANS' GOREBEARS CAME FROM EUROPE, ABOUT 25% VIA AMERICA, BLACK BAHAMIANS' ANCESTORS CAME FROM AFRICA WITH MAYBE 70% VIA AMERICA. ASIAN BAHAMIANS FROM CHINA MOSTLY VIA CUBA. IF YOU ARE A BLACK BAHAMIAN YOU ARE NOT A NATIVE IN THE USUAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD ALTHOUGH THIS IS A COMMONLY HELD MISCONCEPTION.

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Porcupine 2 years ago

We seem to suffer from the same disease that everyone else is suffering from. That is we are listening to those who have worked for the IMF, World Bank or are "business experts". We seem to ignore the history of when the US was prosperous. The US had a 70% - 90% tax bracket for the upper income groups. Union membership comprised the majority of workers. Corporate taxes were much higher than now. We had active Communist and Socialist parties. This was a time when people actually had the capability to think for themselves. Instead of merely listening to the well-schooled financiers who have taken over our governments. Being educated used to mean knowing how to think. Today, we applaud the suits who regurgitate everything they were taught in their business schools. To the detriment of humanity. The results of this way of thinking becomes clear in country after country. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece....................................... So, let's try the same thing here. What a great idea.

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John 2 years ago

Debbie and BMW you (maybe one and the same) are talking bull$hit! Where are the unemployable people in the Bahamas? The working class in any country is usually the largest class. Do you know how this country got in the problem it is in today? When under the Pindling government many persons were encouraged to leave the Family Islands and to come to New Providence and to Freeport and to work in the hotels. And so they left their traditional farming and fishing jobs to work in the "great houses " but many soon found they didn't fit in. Many found they were not refined enough to work in the great houses and others felt they did not like the great houses. They did not want to work in that much of a controlled environment. So they went back to the 'fields' but not back to the Family Islands. And since they did not find no jobs in the fields they turned to crime and to drugs. And so not even today we have these Bahamian-hating foreigners coming here to the Bahamas spreading their lies and propaganda that Bahamians are dumb, and lazy and criminals and violent and unemployable. And they use this strategy to bring in their own immigrants and put them to work, while Bahamians sit on the streets unemployed. Unemployed but expected to bear much of the tax burden and to endure the high cost of living. The high cost of living that is driven by foreigners who come here and don't bare their fair share of the tax burden but export every dollar they make back home to their homelands. This Bahamian government needs to take the lead of Donald Trump. Make Bahamas for Bahamians first. And deport not only the Haitians and Jamaican illegals. But those foreigners who come here on Tourists visas and stay behind the gates, or ion hotel rooms or in condos on Paradise Island and engaged in illegal employment. And some quasi companies of the government engage these people. As consultants. As accountants, as technicians and even as managers.

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OldFort2012 2 years ago

John, you are totally deluded. No foreigner makes any money here. They spend it. And the high cost of living is entirely due to the fact that NOTHING is produced here, not even toilet paper to wipe your ass. This necessitates the import of absolutely everything and therefore the cost of living will ALWAYS be this: COST IN USA + Transport + VAT + 100% Profit margin. Because God forbid that any Bahamian should work for 5-6% profit margin only.

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DEDDIE 2 years ago

John, what I stated above is not theory but I go through it on a daily basis. As a businessman I employ quite a few low income earners($100 to $200 above minimum wage). In the last year I went through at least 60 guys. They last from a couple of days to two months.Don't babble what you don't know.

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

ITS PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT JOHN HAS NEVER RAN A BUSINESS EMPLOYING BAHANIANS OF THE WORKING CLASS (YOUR DESCRIPTION). YOU SHOULD TRY IT JOHN, YOU SEEM TO BE SMART AND I THINK IT WOULD OPEN YOUR EYES AS TO THE INTEGRITY LEVEL EMPLOYERS HAVE TO DEAL WITH. AS A HINT JEROME PLEASE GIVE LOTS OF MONEY AND SHAMELESS GIBBON ARE ONLY TOO TYPICAL OF PERVADING ATTITUDES.

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Truism 2 years ago

Thank you Norman_t. I was wondering when someone would point to these guys who come in and has a solution for every countries economic problem and they do have impressive track records, but, no success stories.

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OldFort2012 2 years ago

A tax free zone in the inner city is meaningless for a simple reason: lack of security. I would not move my business there if they paid me.

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OMG 2 years ago

A construction boss I know when discussing a long time "old school" employee said he wished he had ten like him as most of his younger workers think only of their paycheck and not going that extra mile or improving their skills. As for tax free zones that's crazy because all tax free items in that area will create a black market whereby goods are simply purchased in that zone and then taken out to other places and islands. How about reducing expenditure then remove VAT from a very limited and specific number of items such as electricity/medical and basic foodstuffs. Add a cent duty to gas, tax the winter residents renting homes, tax the hundreds of foreign boats anchored in Exuma all winter. Its a simple maths calculation to balance income and expenditure.

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DDK 2 years ago

All good, except I wonder about the boaters. They complain about their cruising permit costs as it is and they DO patronize locals establishments. They can't bring EVERYTHING in with them lol!

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Islandboy242242 2 years ago

Depends on what boaters. My opinion of small sailboat owners is they try to get whatever they can for free. Water from the docks without permission, hunting and consuming wildlife out of season (lobster, grouper), hell remember the crew killing iguanas... With some boaters I think the cruising permit might be the only thing you get out of them. Flipside is those that speed in, fish, dive, spear and leave in the same day, zero $$ from them.

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John 2 years ago

The problem with young Bahamian men is they will not let anyone intimidate or emasculate them. If they are not connecting with you on a level where they have your confidence they will not work for you. And I have worked for companies that bring workers in as tourists. So don't tell me many, many foreigners do not make money in the Bahamas. Many are raping this country. Go and hang out at any marina on any given weekend and see the Hundreds of Thousands of dollars of seafood Tuna Makersl, lobster grouper crab that are taken out of this country each week and Bahamians does not get a dollar for it. Tuna and maker all valuing thousands of dollars each and the persons who take them don't even want to pay for a cruising permit or purchase a can of soda in the Bahamas. Theft on the high seas!

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John 2 years ago

@oldfort toilet paper is made here and by more than one company. Beds are made here and so are pillows. This country had one of the best farms that produced beef and chicken and eggs and ice cream and milk. Million$ in lobster and scale fish are exported We allow the foreigners to come here and tief our salt and aragonite rather than making them pay a proper price for these commodities and create employment by refining and processing them here. We brought in Chinese workers, some of whom were prisoners, to do shoddy construction work, while Bahamians sit and watch, unemployed. Beers and Liquor are made here and exported around the world, but guess what? Little or no taxes are collected. The claim is if they pay Bahamas export taxes they will not be able to compete internationally. So while Bahamians pay $44 for a case of Kalik, that same case of beer sells in Miami for $36.00 or London for $34.00. The cruise ships come here and while they want to leave their garbage and their sewerage here, they purchase nothing locally. Now many of them are moving their ports off shore to avoid hiring locals or supporting local businesses. Go to Miami but stay on the plane.

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John 2 years ago

@concernedcitizen. Go do your research before you try to talk to me ok. The college degree requirement was a prelude to their automation efforts. In fact it was the excuse to terminate factory workers. But they took it even further by taking the jobs overseas, dummy. They brought their finish product back into the US with little or no border taxes. And see what it did to the American economy? But look around the Bahamas... while the big 3 continued to churn out expensive luxury cars, Japan started making fuel efficient, economical and affordable cars. Cars that cost less than $1,000 in Japan. So the Bahamas and the Caribbean and South America ditched American cars for Japanese ones. And Americans who are purchasing luxury cars are moving towards the automated, driverless or driver assisted vehicles. A technology the big 3 is lagging on. So Tesler, an automobile company, that had never made a profit in its history, is about to surpass at least one on the big 3 car companies in market share. Yes I makes things up.

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concernedcitizen 2 years ago

You do make things up ,,,,I am for unions but the unions went to far in Detroit ,,thus a lot of car companies moved to NC,Kentucky etc ...One of the main reason the US economy can only grow at 2 % is a large aging population ,baby boomers , and the whites having less children ,stagnant birth rate ,,All the bull trumps talks about immigrants he knows you have to let some in ,if the population does not grow the economy can not grow ,, ,,now about that weed that you claim the CIA laces to makes black youths killers ,,how do they make sure no white people smoke it lmao..@john you are the Dunning/kruger effect to a T ,,basically not bright enough to realize how dim you are

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John 2 years ago

Speaking about birth rates: do you know that white Americans are dying faster than they are being born? So yes there is a negative growth rate among the white population in the US. And that is what is driving them into the panic mode. but not only that,while black women can birth up to 10 children with no complications, the white woman's womb is shutting down after one or two births. That is nothing that the black man designed, and so yes they are trying to slow the growth of the black population.. with the predator drugs and the violence and the induced poverty, among other things, and you know it more than anyone else in this forum.

PS: I gave you a source to research the super predator. What were the results? There is other material written by persons who were involved with these 'experiments', and there were Bahamians who went off to college and came back deranged and at least one killed family members. Natural marijuana does not turn anyone into killers. In fact an overdose on weed causes you to over eat and over sleep and miss the party on the weekend.

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

EY JOHN, IF YOU DON'T MAKE THINGS UP THEN TELL EXACTLY HOW MANY DRIVERLESS CARS WERE SOLD IN THE USA OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS. THATS RIGHT THE ANSWER IS EXACTLY NONE NOT ONE. ZERO. MOUTH CAN SAY ANYTHING, EH?

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concernedcitizen 2 years ago

White womens wombs do not shut down after 2 children ,,they are choosing to have less children

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John 2 years ago

So Moody's has downgraded China's credit rating. From stable to a negative rating. China's economy is expected to decline over the next few years. So the economic struggle is not exclusive to the Bahamas.

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John 2 years ago

Tells is worth $48 billion Ford is valued at $45 billion but guess what Waymo, Googles self driving car company is expected to be valued at $70 billion in the near future..

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proudloudandfnm 2 years ago

I agree with removing VAT from education and health. Removing it from duty free bread basket items is unneccassary and will create more work load for the companies that have to collect it.

Tax free zones. Lol. I live in a tax free zone now. And damned if we aint in a full on depression in this tax free zone. I don't see how a tax free zone in Nassau will affect any other island. Not sure if the FNM know this but the entire country is in trouble....

Here's my suggestion.

Phase out one. Either duty or VAT. We cannot deal with both. Get rid of one of them PER THE ORIGINAL PLAN.

So far the FNM is not instilling me with confidence....

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DDK 2 years ago

Although the tax-free zone idea is, I am sure, well intended, it does sound problematic and would probably only lead to confusion and on-going corruption......

Ease of doing business and a fair tax structure should lead to better opportunities for ALL Bahamians.

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Islandboy242242 2 years ago

VAT off breadbasket items... the food suppliers with basic IT systems will be working hard and complaining on that one. Either revamp your already expensive system to assess VAT per product, or put through 2 separate invoices, one that is zero VAT and one with 7.5% VAT. Second option seems much more inefficient.

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