People Have To Accept Public Services Means Paying Taxes


Dr Keenan Larry Carroll

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter


BAHAMIANS must be educated on the fact they cannot demand modern infrastructure and services without paying taxes, according to a local businessman, stating: "We cannot have our cake and eat it too."

Dr Keenan Larry Carroll, owner of the Sandpiper Inn, suggested if Bahamians fail to pay existing taxes, government ultimately would find other means to tax its citizens in order to raise the necessary revenue.

Dr Carroll, who will be a presenter at the 16th annual Abaco Business Outlook next Thursday, suggested that had there been greater efficiency and accountability in the collection of taxes across the country, the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) may not have been necessary.

"Just imagine had we been more efficient and accountable, would we have needed the VAT? I don't know. I don't think so," said Dr Carroll.

"I'm not a political animal. Each government has done the same thing, it's just the individual sitting in the chair. We have to educate our people to the fact that your car cannot run without gas and we, the people, need to put gas in the tank of the government - meaning taxes. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. You cannot have the best free education, free hospitalisation if no one wants to contribute and pay for it."

Dr Carroll added: "People talk about countries like Denmark, Finland and Sweden. One of my colleagues said his income tax was 80 percent. Their buses run on time. He never has to worry about going to the hospital and not getting the most advanced medical care.

"Until and unless our people are educated to the fact that we have to pay taxes and if we do it we won't have it keep adding more taxes. People have to be made aware that this is a necessary evil to living."


DDK 9 months, 1 week ago

Most of us understand the necessity of paying taxes, we just don't like having them stolen, squandered and misappropriated!!


The_Oracle 9 months, 1 week ago

Precisely. If the Government could stand on high ground re: efficiency, honesty, fiscal prudence, internal investigation with end results (dismissal, prosecution for evidence) then perhaps people could feel relatively confident their taxes were being well spent on the public good. Of that we have no evidence or confidence. If the Politicians would stop promising everything they cannot and actually deliver that which they should then maybe things would improve. I see nothing to indicate anything has changed except the talk of fiscal prudence and balanced budgets. Talk.


ohdrap4 9 months, 1 week ago

A prominent politician from the 1970s once said "In the Bahamas, only the poor or unfortunate pay taxes." That is the problem, having never been blessed with politician's patronage, I have to pay all my bills, while some people I know get tax holidays alternatively when each party is in power.


jujutreeclub 9 months, 1 week ago

This is the most frank article I have read in a very long time. We want first class services but don't want to contribute to ensure that it happens. Governments can only work with what they receive. They have bills just like any other household. Only certain sections of government is a revenue generating department. Those revenue generating departments like customs, inland revenue etc. need us as taxpayers to be honest with our filings and pay what is due. In addition, the public servants need to ensure that what is due is being collected. PMH can't run on I owe you and be expected to have all the medicine, ambulances beds, staff salaries etc in place. If you keep drawing from a well that do not have a spring, then eventually it will run dry. It is the same with running and drawing from the public purse. Social services is a non revenue generating agency, but each day have to ensure that our people are not in a state of hunger, naked etc. If we pay what is due of us, then we can accomplish what we want for this country. Lets pay our real property taxes, customs duties, hospital bills, water bills, electricity bills and all other bills that we are obligated to pay and see what we as a country can accomplish. If governments will spend wisely and stop greasing their friends etc pockets, then we will have no need for any taxes added on us. This has to be a concerted effort on both the citizens and the government. So let us as Bahamians own up and contribute to the forward movement of this country towards first world status and a country we can all be proud of. Put petty politics aside and lets work towards one common gold, making the Bahamas the best little country in the world.


geostorm 9 months, 1 week ago

couldn't agree with you more @jujutreeclub!


bcitizen 9 months, 1 week ago

What you think people are happy to pay top dollar for our second rate, gone to lunch call back tomorrow, D average, half a$$ public services? Give value for taxes paid and tax everyone fairly and people wouldn't mind so much.


proudloudandfnm 9 months, 1 week ago

He must not live in the Bahamas. How much of our tax dollars are wasted? How mush is stolen? Please. If I can get away without paying a tax I will. EVERY TIME I CAN....


bahamianson 9 months, 1 week ago

Yes, but the problem is , the government runs the government like it is their household . If you can't afford it, then don't worry about it


bahamianson 9 months, 1 week ago

You can never have value for money, to the construction of our houses, electricians wiring our houses up wrong ,, tile layer putting tiles down incorrectly, to everyone out to lunch or on vacation for two weeks and no one else can do it government worker, to electricity that is very expensive when it is on half the time, to the water off because water and sewerage wanting more money.....etc.this place is ridiculous and expensive. Oh, let's not talk about duty dropped on hand towels ,but Mr. Robests has them more expensive than before duty was dropped.


TalRussell 9 months, 1 week ago

Here'a quick crash course for owner Sandpiper Inn,Comrade Dr. Keenman - on what constitutes 'taxes.' Ever red penny collected by a government is direct/indirect taxation, yes, no ... be it passport, driver's license, building fees, winning at numbers gambling, shotgun license, 12% VAT - and now to also include amongst the one hundred new PMH's fees is that $700 morgue fee - due and payable before family can obtain release loved-ones body .... Imperialists don't even want dead get 'free ride' on the 35 elected red shirts MP's ... something not even Sir Stafford had balls introduce - a $700 morgue fee, on the dearly dead populaces ----


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