Categorized | National News

Gov’t Demonizes Gaming Bosses, Says Davis

Opposition Leader Phillip Davis said the estimated $8 million the government stands to lose in gaming taxes suggests that the country’s in deeper budgetary challenges.

According to Mr. Davis,  that is   what he makes of the figure Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest admitted and  that could actually be higher. 

He said this depends on how long it takes for the government and gaming bosses to see eye to eye on the new increased taxes on web shops and their patrons.

In the case of the taxes on Web Shops, those taxes climb as high as 50 per cent on taxable revenue over $100 million.

If all went as planned, a five per cent tax would have been levied on both deposits and any non-online games digital sales also. However, that’s been delayed until the court hears the matter.

The  PLP leader said,“the government must come clean to the Bahamian people on whether it will meet any of it’s revenue and expenditure targets as projected in its current fiscal year. Blaming the opposition PLP is just a smokescreen, a distraction,” he said.  

Mr. Davis said he sees the imposition of the new taxes as politically motivated, with the harmful intentions  of crippling a legitimate, highly regulated and Bahamian owed industry, displacing the current principals.

“Their attacks on the gaming sector were personal in  nature and their approach reeked of cronyism.

“With their track record of turning over the container port to their friends and political donors, how else can they explain these draconian tax measures.

“Secondly, the policy was inherently discriminatory,  in that while the government offered generous tax concessions to various other sectors and grouping such as the Grand Bahama industrial sector and residents of Lyford Cay, it sought to first demonize, then crush the gaming sector,” Mr. Davis said. 

The Opposition leader  is calling for the Minnis led administration to come clean to Bahamians and do what’s right.

In the meantime, the attorneys for gaming house operators and the government return to court for a judicial review on these taxes on October 5TH.

In the interim, the two sides are expected to sit and discuss the merits of the case.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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