Tuitt: Fee changes part of tax structure revamps

POSTED: 06/22/12 2:02 PM

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Roland Tuitt has placed revamps to the fees that casinos pay in the broader context of revamping the tax system. He has also said government continues to work on the establishment of a Gaming Control Board.
“We are working on it. We will have to find individuals to appoint to the board and see how it can be made operational. We have to find funds for it so within the budget amendments all of these things will be taken into consideration. I have not found any documents. Something might pop up,” the minister said.
On the matter of changing the fees the minister said, “When you’re dealing with changes in the tax structure, if you do it piece, piece, it won’t be prudent so what we’re doing is looking at putting more money in the pocket of the individual and at the same time seeing which fees can be adjusted, but we don’t want to raise no taxes in a period where you have a downturn. We know the economy needs a boost, so this would not be the right time to come with new taxes and that kind of stuff. But within the tax structure that we have you can make certain changes.”
Government is also looking at whether they will levy turnover tax on the revenue that casinos generate. At the moment this is not the case.
“All of those items are being reviewed now to see if it should be exempted yes or no, but we’re looking at a whole picture, not just one time. Once we have the whole picture in view and we can balance it – because if we reduce income or wage tax then the budget has to remain balanced you have to find the money from somewhere,” Tuitt said.

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