By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Chamber of Commerce's (BCCEC) chief executive said yesterday said the organisation plans to take-up concerns over Value-Added Tax (VAT) inclusive versus exclusive pricing.
Edison Sumner told Tribune Business that while the Chamber had not received any widespread concern over the issue, it has had discussions on the issue with the view to taking it up with the relevant authorities.
Back in December, Super Value's owner, Rupert Roberts, said he would appeal to government for permission to revert to VAT 'exclusive' pricing, blaming the switch for last year's 10 per cent sales decline.
"We are still looking into it, and we have had discussions with Mr Roberts. It's an ongoing discussion and we understand his concerns. He has been able to clearly articulate his concerns and the issue is a part of the Chamber's agenda for further discussion with the relevant authorities," said Mr Sumner.
Groups such as the Bahamas Federation of Retailers (BFR) and the Coalition for Responsible Taxation had lobbied the former Christie administration to no avail to revert to VAT 'exclusive' pricing, with some arguing that uncompetitive 'inclusive' price comparisons would likely drive more Bahamians and tourists to shop in the US as opposed to locally.
The business community had been pushing for the New Zealand model, which mandated neither VAT 'exclusive' or 'inclusive' pricing. New Zealand only requires that merchants ensure consumers have a complete understanding of pricing, and whether it includes VAT or not.