BES-islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba) get tax-relief

POSTED: 09/2/11 11:05 PM

State Secretary Weekers projects $10 million windfall

THE HAGUE – The fiscal regime for the BES-islands will probably undergo some changes next month. Finance state secretary Frans Weekers takes into account that the islands have experiences a windfall of $10 million and higher revenue from a general spending tax. The rate for this tax will most likely be lowered.
The Dutch parliament still has to approve the changes that will have to become effective per October 1.
Weekers already discussed the changes when he visited the island in June together with Kingdom Relations Minister Piet Hein Donner. Weekers used the reactions he received on the islands as the basis for a package of measures.
Quick wins are short term measures related to the general spending tax and the inflation. “The cabinet finds it important that the most important bottlenecks in the fiscal system in the Caribbean Netherlands are eliminated or softened as soon as possible,” Weekers wrote to the parliament.
The exemption for travelers will go from $175 to $500 to enable islanders to bring more goods back home. Import taxes on cars are adjusted so that the tax for more expensive cars is higher and the tax for cheaper cars lower. Development projects that were already underway on December 31 will be exempt from the tax.
The tax free foot, the bonus for the elderly and government child support payments will be increased.
Weekers was able to propose his measures because tax revenue in the BES-islands is higher than expected. The new system was supposed to generate as much as the old Antillean tax system, but during the first six months the islands pulled in $5 million more than projected.
“On annual basis this would result in extra revenue of $10 million. These preliminary figures were the basis for these additional measures,” Weekers said.
The general spending tax will go down by 2 percent. In Bonaire this tax goes from 8 to 6 percent for services, and from 9 to 7 percent for insurances.
Weekers still has some other plans up his sleeve, like a top tariff for income tax of 34.5 percent, but he wants to await the effects of the new system on people’s purchasing power first.

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BES-islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba) get tax-relief by

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