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D’Aguilar: We will be flexible

Dionisio D’Aguilar

Dionisio D’Aguilar

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the government will be flexible with web shop taxes, adjusting its new sliding scale scheme if it proves too onerous.

His statement came during his speech as part of the budget debate in the House of Assembly last night.

He said the operations will experience a loss of profit initially.

“As the gaming house operators adjust their business model to accommodate this tax, they will quickly bounce back; bright guys,” he said. “There is one cause for alarm and that is the claim by many of the gaming houses that a number of their customers may turn to the underground gaming market as a result of these new restrictions. I want to categorically say this government is populated with reasonable people. If this tax turns out to be too onerous and that in turn causes an undesirable outcome, we will adjust. Every year we are in office, we will look closely at this industry and ensure the Bahamian people are getting their fair share.”

Mr D’Aguilar also compared the amount of money the seven web shop bosses have made over the years to what has been paid to their employees, highlighting the disparity as he called on the operators to remember how good the Bahamas has been to them before they decide to downsize their operations in response to increased taxation.

“The Bahamas and the Bahamian people have been very good to the operators of the gaming houses,” he said. “I estimate that the seven owners of the gaming houses collectively earned a whopping $150 million over the last three years in salaries and profits… Over that same three years 2,800 persons that worked for these same seven gaming houses collectively have been paid just $96 million which if you do the math works out to be exactly $210 per week plus $9 per week in benefits. They all get minimum wage. So please, as you contemplate downsizing, remember that you’ve enjoyed many years of feast and if you must suffer from one year of famine in order for us to get to that sweet spot of the perfect level of taxation, we will remember any good deeds that you do.”

Mr D’Aguilar sought to preempt criticism of the government in case some web shops go out of business in the next few years, saying trends suggest three web shops are already in a precarious state.

Those businesses, he said, “are either too small or have been increasingly losing market share over the past three years, so that unless something dramatic happens I expect them to begin to close locations, so when it happens I do not want the people to cry shame on the government.”

He said digital technology means many physical locations of web shops will be reduced.

“I expect that in a few years the number of locations will be significantly less than where they are now as the number houses move more of their businesses online,” he said. “Players will be able to sit at home, log on, transfer cash from their bank account into their gaming account, pay and transfer money back. Remember, just four or five years ago there were 635 locations and now we have 363. That downward trend is expected to continue.”

For the next fiscal year, the government plans to introduce a sliding scale showing how web shops will be taxed. Under the scale, web shops will pay a 20 percent tax for up to $20m in revenue, 30 percent for revenue between $40 million and $60 million, 35 percent for revenue between $60m and $80m, 40 percent for revenue between $80 million and $100 million and a rate of 50 percent for revenue over $100 million. Mr D’Aguilar said only five percent of gaming house sales will fall into the latter category while half will fall into the first category.

He said with the new scale, the government is increasing its revenue intake from 11 percent to 28 percent of net gaming revenue. Bahamians, he said, spent $500 million in the gaming industry in 2017.

Comments

bogart 4 years, 7 months ago

Web shop employees call for boycott of businesses of Ministers as in Tribune article Thursday, 14, 2018.....yesterday....certainly seems to have worked ....almost within hours....incredible ...Senator seat next???

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joeblow 4 years, 7 months ago

Isn't providing flexibility the whole point of a sliding scale ?

The governments focus should be on ensuring a system is in place to assess the accuracy of the accounting information from web shops with multi-million dollar penalties AND imprisonment for fraud for any violations!!

Who said crime does not pay?

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

One would've thought all hell done breaks loose in the media reporting rooms and talkie show hosts across colony islands over court testimony confirming that two Comrade substantive members Imperial red shirts cabinet had been using telephone communicate each other over a then yet uncharged PLP politician.... seems increasing taxes on Numbers Houses was nothing more than an diversion attempt at media detour by governing Imperials. If you can't believe strong 'peoplepublic' commitments by minister responsible gaming - then the 91,409 voting 35 red shirts candidates 10th May 2017, have once again been Imperial red shirts F----d. We need help from royal Englishwoman's across da pond.

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PastorTroy 4 years, 7 months ago

"So please, as you contemplate downsizing, remember that you’ve enjoyed many years of feast and if you must suffer from one year of famine in order for us to get to that sweet spot of the perfect level of taxation, we will remember any good deeds that you do.”

Sounds reasonable, however, it also sounds like an episode of "Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house". #Superwash

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bogart 4 years, 7 months ago

The Minister after the first set of sliding scale was created by govt and after the protesters showed up...then spoke of 'adjusting its new sliding scale scheme if it proves too onerous. during his sppeech as part of budget debate last night.

While the sliding scale may be flexible.....as long as one side creates the ranges and percentage numbers it is still what one side wants to extract. One particular web shop obviously feels strongly against because at the numbers indicated they seem to be boxed in.

Fully agree wid Joebloe strict accounting controls are needed which we should have in plentiful supply as the govt has significant experiemce in operating many financial concerns.

.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

EXTRA, EXTRA - READ ALL ABOUT IT! Coming attraction to your neighbourhood soon, the all new Island Luck - Super Wash Combo Building, with prime location in a brand new and/or newly renovated building financed by His Majesty King Sebas with 50% of the floor space leased by him to his new found friend, the darling little white-haired yapping poodle named D'Aguilar. Yes folks, soon you will be able to spin your numbers while your laundry is spinning in the washer or dryer immediately next door. The convenience can't be beat!

My oh my, let's please hope it don't come to pass!

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BahamaPundit 4 years, 7 months ago

D’Aguilar. Do you want to go down in history as a joker? This is how you go down in history as a joker. The last thing we need is another "flexible" government. Joker Christie was flexible and the mone to gone! Don't be flexible, be smart, open and transparent! Consult with the Bahian people first, then implement the law with certainty. Look at where being flexiblible got BOB!!!

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

I had come so close placed my wager on Comrade Dionisio James, being the one Imperial red shirts to act likes New Testament's Joseph... who fully understood what the Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven lean cows (numbers operators) might mean. Remember, Joseph had sets aside sometin' likes 20% of the corns harvest during the years of plenty; for when the years of famine came. The number's man's too done enjoyed many years plenty wealthy be filing claim famine protection on backs working people havin pay 12% VAT on top all else they're responsible paying support themselves and families.

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BahamaPundit 4 years, 7 months ago

I have never ever seen a party so unprepared to rule from day one. They have no plan, so they are flipflopping all over the place. The PLP were prepared to steal and tief the people's money from day one, but they were prepared!

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OldFort2012 4 years, 7 months ago

When you drive home tonight, be extra careful not to run over an FNM minister. That is because they will be extra hard to see. Since they have proven to be without backbone, they will be slithering across the road, possibly below your line of sight. It would be such a shame if you squashed one or more!

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Why is it the media, nor any 35 elected Imperial red shirts, only names Craig and Sebas for honourable/unhonourable mention but never once has called out names other Five, which includes one comrade white numbers operator?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 7 months ago

It's because His Majesty King Sebas and His Royal Highness Sir Craig together account for more than 80% of the $750+ million in proceeds of crime received each year from the money laundering and other illegal activities of the cartel of racketeering numbers bosses. The white fella you refer to is now struggling because of the increasing stranglehold the two main low-life thugs have over our government and economy.

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bogart 4 years, 7 months ago

Tribune .Tuesday June 12, 2018 Story 'D'Aguilar: Govt won't move on web shop tax' by Khrisna Russell First parsgraph '.....'Tourism Minister Dionesio D'Aguilaar said the new taxation sliding scale for number houses is " set in stone"' ........ He is a politician and entitled to say anyting, do anything....it is transparency and accountability in action....

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PastorTroy 4 years, 7 months ago

Here is a good solution to this problem, if taxes are raised on the "Number Boys" then all they have to do to maintain the level of staff they have and so love is get into the washhouse business to make up for lost revenue.

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TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Ma Comrades, to better understand appeal Dionisio James to Numbers man's to please pay more taxes, you'd have remember televangelist Robert Tilton's appeal television viewers to donate to his ministry whilst swearing how his healing powers have caused thousands Midgets grow. { No making this up when there are thousands testimonials documenting his claim}. There is also similarity long-winded speaking mannerisms when both men's are deep down in da vein, along looks and skin colour of Dionisio James and the Midget grower.

...........//////https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNCR6...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNCR6...

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killemwitdakno 4 years, 7 months ago

Seize the winnings of debt owners. Simple.

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