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St. Kitts to impose first sales, hotel taxes

St. Kitts to impose first sales, hotel taxes

St. Kitts and Nevis is planning a new 17 percent sales tax and a 10 hotel levy to boost revenue, taking a page from other Caribbean nations that have overhauled their tax schemes as tourism replaces sugar as the main source of income.
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said Thursday that the tourism-dependent islands of 50,000 people, which have been hit hard by the global economic crisis, will roll out the new tax scheme in November.
Some medications, bus transportation, locally grown produce, milk, baby formula and other good and services will be exempt. Small business owners with annual revenues of less than $56,000 will not be required to collect the sales tax, according to the ruling Labour Party.
Douglas said his government will ensure that the value-added tax will not fall disproportionately on those "for whom we established all of the social services that have been essential to our people's upward mobility."
But the chief of the opposition People's Action Movement, Lindsay Grant, warned that a sales tax on some food items could "cause an unacceptable increase to the cost of living for Kittitians and Nevisians."
Hotel and tourism industry leaders did not immediately return calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago have had a value-added tax for years. Dominica and Guyana introduced theirs in early 2006 and Antigua and Barbuda followed in 2007.


Updated : 2020-12-02 02:50 GMT+08:00