Categorized | Featured, National News

PM Announces Tax Reductions


PM PRESENTS BUDGET 20164716In an effort to provide relief to consumers and businesses, Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday announced a number of customs duty reductions.

During his 2016/2017 budget communication yesterday, Mr. Christie said the government is proposing to      extend the City of Nassau Revitalization Act for another year to June 30, 2017; extend the Family Island Development Encouragement Act for another year to June 30, 2017;   provide Customs duty exemptions and Real Property Tax concessions to owners of derelict buildings in New Providence who intend to demolish and/or renovate these buildings for commercial, educational or social purposes and    allow the Real Property Tax concessions granted to residential properties last year to be extended to commercial properties with the exception of properties which are now subject to collection.

Additionally, the government intends to  allow for the waiver of Real Property Tax arrears for owner-occupied properties with values less than $250,000, which could potentially benefit over 41,000 homeowners; expand the tariff concessions available to light manufacturing by allowing items not on the approved list to be granted full duty exemption on approval of the Minister and  allow churches to import air conditioners duty free

The government will also   reduce or eliminate the duty on a number of household and grocery items, including appliances and parts, prepared turkey, ham, beef and chicken meat, macaroni, spaghetti with meat and the like, ice cream, biscuits, waffles, cakes and pastries among others.

Additionally, the government will    eliminate the duty on baby clothes and reduce the duty on used clothing; eliminate the duty on costume jewellery, perfumes and certain leather goods; reduce the duty rate on computer peripherals, routers and related items and  replace all remaining rates of duty of seven per cent with a five per cent rate.

The Christie administration will also  reduce or eliminate the duty on various building materials such as plywood, sheet rock, cement, roofing tiles and shingles, electrical wiring, marble and granite and other stones among others;    reduce the environmental levy on used tires to reflect the low value cost of such imports and exempt from VAT ancillary fees paid along with tuition fees.

“We will develop a framework to allow the Minister of Finance to take steps through the Tariff Act to protect Bahamian agricultural and manufactured products,” the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, the government also intends to increase the Customs storage charges for vehicles;  implement a licencing regime for cargo couriers;    institute a fee to amend cargo manifests;   institute a fee for the Parcel List used by cargo ships; allow for a processing fee to be levied on the shipper if prohibited or restricted goods are found on-board their vessel and charge a higher processing fee for the late submission of manifests and the loading list.

The prime minister said the government will      make electronic submission of Customs entries mandatory as of July 1, 2016.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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