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Residents, visitors are being taxed to ‘death’

Fahie

Fahie

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie has accused the National Democratic Party government of taxing visitors, residents, and business operators to ‘death’ instead of finding more creative means of raking in additional revenues, while better handling the territory’s finances.

He made the comments in an interview with BVI News Online hours after the government announced relatively huge increases in work permit fees. The increases have left expats fuming, and suggesting that the increases be phased in to avoid shocks.

Fahie’s remarks also come as the government yesterday passed the Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act 2017, which seeks to have all visitors to the territory charged an environmental levy of $10.

Fahie said the government’s action shows clearly that it is in need of new revenue sources.

“It is clear that this administration is in need of new revenue streams for the Territory to fund many of its objectives. This is more than understandable, providing that a better job is done in making sure that Government funds are used more wisely while hitting their target in an accountable and transparent manner, while avoiding conflict of interest.”

“The raising of new monies by Government would better be achieved in the establishment of new industries as well as the creating of linkage industries to existing industries rather than continuously taxing residents, visitors, and our business people to ‘death,” Fahie further told BVI News Online

“In addition, where these new taxes/fees are deemed necessary by Government, it should be done in a phased manner especially given the current challenges our economy is experiencing. Contrary to what Government continues to tell us, our economy is not robust. As a result, Government should guard its actions accordingly.”

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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32 Comments

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  1. ah who responsible says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

    NDP is going to kill us

  2. ndp heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 5

    We are raising taxes so people like mark them so could get more money to blow? WOW!

  3. question says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

    Will the cruise ship passengers be charged the $10 too? After all they’re the ones creating most of the mess

    • @question says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      Mark said the cruise passengers will not pay the extra $10

    • Curious says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      How, exactly are they creating most of the mess…?

      • Too much says:

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Over burdening the infrastructure and the environment. And the government trying to bring in more. It used to be Nature’s Little Secret “. Now it’s ‘Nature’s Big Mess’.

  4. Too much says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Since they are such a burden on the infrastructure increase their fees. They never should have been coming until that infrastructure was in place. Our beaches and tourist attractions, like The Baths and Bubbly Pool on JVD, are suffering from these visitors. Roads, water, communications, waste, erosion, seabeds, all being abused

  5. well well well says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

    Pretty soon thanks to the ndp it will be too expensive to live in the bvi and too expensive to come to visit the bvi. Look what our bright boys do out of our country. Smdh.

  6. ndp supporter says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

    I don’t always agree with Fahie but I fully agree with him on this one. Look trouble. Every minute it is a new fee or tax under this government.

  7. Goodbye Doc says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

    Oh well, bide your time Fahie, you can undo all this stupidness after the general election in a few months time. 😉

  8. enough says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    The way this government thinks is amazing. Just add a little $5 on this week then $10 more next month then $20 more a few months later on the people in taxes and new fees because one by one it doesn’t seem much but when you add it up per person they are taxing us to death.

  9. Investigator says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    The ndp always can justify their actions for new taxes and new fees but up to now they cannot legitimately justify the extra $30 mill on the Cruise Pier Project.

    If they take better care of our money then they wouldn’t need to be raising everything on poor people while looking for money.

  10. Eagle eye says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    Both ndp and vip have to go period.

  11. Help says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    We need help from this ndp gang because they doing what they want out of we the people while we catching hell they living well.

  12. Hmmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    It’s nice for Fahie to say this however, he needs to tell us should he become Premier, if he plans on doing this, that and the other for locals, someone has to pay for it, the question is WHO?? NDP are straight up telling you we need money for this, that and the other and this is how we plan on getting it. VIP are saying it’s too much but when they get in where will they get funding for all their grandiose plans? Fair question.

    • @Hmmmm says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      The ndp is who waste our monies in the millions with corrupt acts or we wouldn’t need for anyone to have this discussion.

  13. Laughing says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    You all complained about NHI but still paying it, just like you complained about departure taxes at sea ports and still paying it. You will complain and still pay these. Back to the regularly scheduled program.

  14. Lodger says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    Surely an income tax regime cannot be far off?

  15. steam fish says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    Both ndp and vip have to go period.

  16. y says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    i will be the new pablo escobar in tola

  17. hello NDP says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    that extra $10 means nothing to most of the visitor…because they the come to Tortola on a mission and make 10×42 per week on construction job site…plus given three month stay by immigration… so do the maths…

  18. E. Leonard says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    The VI is a tiny, resource-poor country/territory; it depends heavily on tourism and financial services as its primary revenue streams. A stumble in any leg of the two-legged economic stool can cause the economy to tumble or as minimum cause rumbles in the economy. To strengthen and deepen the economic base and sustain the territory’s economy, it (economy) definitely needs to be diversified.

    As a normal course of business, small countries/economies such as BVI that are faced with economic challenges normally resort to raising taxes, fees………etc. to meet needs. However, raising taxes do not always meet the intended goals.

    As such and according to a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis(NPCA), two conclusions resulted from the study: 1) on average, governments collect the highest possible revenue when they take about 43% of GDP in taxes and 2)on average, countries reach their maximum economic growth when they take no more than 19% of GDP in taxes.

    Further, per NCPA, countries that try to increase government revenues at the expense of economic growth expose their citizens to a form of double taxation. They pay once through direct taxes and again thru a lower standard of living caused by lower economic growth.

    Thus, government, if it has not already done so, should take a peek on the impact of raising taxes on 1) its revenue haul and 2)its economic growth. A tireless effort should be exerted to find a reasonable balance.

    Morover, a tireless effort must also be exerted on cutting cost, improving productivity, achieving fair and reasonable pricing on construction and service contracts, prioritizing service delivery, demanding value for money, employing best management practices…………etc.

    • Albion says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      I agree with you Elton, but I would add one more point. Government also needs to look hard at controling its expenditure.

      Far, far too much public money is being wasted needlessly by ineffeciency and and wasteful spending. It seems to me that Government could easily trim 10-15% of its expenditure just by acting in a more organised and professional manner.

      I give you one easy example: previously six people used to be employed to collect departure tax at the airport. Then they change the system so that departure tax is collected automatically on tickets. Great – improvements in efficiency.

      Then they announce that they are not going to let those six employees go until the end of a transitional phase. Then they announce that, amazingly, all six employees will be repurposed for new roles.

      Even when they do the right thing, they just can’t seem to make the hard decisions when it comes to cutting costs. So everyone else all up and down the country must pay for their inability to manage finances properly.

      • E. Leonard says:

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        @Albion, true, when either public or private agencies experience revenue shortfall/decline, they typically have to make fiscal structural adjustments to stabilize operations. They either take steps to either increase revenue or cut expenditures.

        In regards to cutting expenditures, these adjustments can include 1)early retirements for eligible employees, 2)budget cuts, 3)taping into unreserved fund balance, 4) reduction in force (RIF), 5)horizontal and/or vertical cuts to programmes, 6)delayed planned expenditures, 7)reduce travel, 8)hard hiring freeze………….etc. True, some of these adjustments will be tough but they may be necessary.

        Moreover, in addition to the above and if the rumored financial challenges are true, government needs to shine a bright light on all expenditures. It should employ zero base budget practices( every line item justified), institute quarterly or more frequent budget review/adjustments, require ministers directly approve certain expenditures, and make requesters provide justification for acquisition/procurements.

        By the way, I’m not Elton; Elton “Uppy” Leonard is a nephew. Hope that readers don’t blame Uppy, for my ramblings, folly and unhinged comments.

    • Love says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      Looks like plagiarism.

  19. Expat.. says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Willing to volunteer..and lobby to get VIP in because NDP is a set of wicked…

  20. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Somebody has to pay for the massive overruns at the Pier Park. Somebody has to pay for the million dollar wall at the High School. Somebody has to pay for the overruns on the road rehabilitation…The shortcomings of the NHI…The decrease in FS revenues…The hospital overruns…7 million spent on BVI Airways with more to come…

    Taxes and fees are the primary solution for a Government with no vision on how to compensate for the downturn in revenues. Had we been spending our money wisely and getting value for our capital projects the downturn would not have affected us so adversely.

    So they impose taxes and fees not realizing that they have unintended consequences. They may well lead to a higher cost of living as businesses will now pass on the higher taxes and fees to consumers (double taxation)and higher unemployment as positions are made redundant as outsourcing becomes the preferred employment alternative.

    Businesses and individuals will have less disposable income to spend in the economy.

    Without vision the people perish.

  21. Common Sense says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Let me get this straight, The Government wasting the taxpayer’s money left, right, and centre on projects they can’t seem to finish or that no one need or wants and let’s be honest with ourselves some so-called Honourable Ministers are getting paid their salaries and still stealing the taxpayer’s money with every project.

    So to make up for wasting and stealing the money and bankrupting the country they are trying to rape the people even more with ridiculous taxes and fees.

    These Ministers make so much money that they can’t seem to consider the little people that they are hurting, the people barely scraping by living paycheck to paycheck.

    To the Ministers 5, 10, 15, 25 and even 100 dollars is nothing, and they act like they do not hear the cries of the people working for pennies, they have forgotten that it is the little people that elected them to their position.

    This is injustice and we the people need to PROTEST against this

  22. Wa says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Form a petition to get ndp out right now
    Them going sink the country

  23. Really says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Another tax and I’m not a Belonger either! And I have to watch y’all get a break!! Departing tax, now this tax! and luggage fee! I’ll keep my azz in the USVI! Cheaper!!

  24. Really says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Yes, it add up being a tourist!!

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