At least two legislators have called on government to consider implementing a two tier tax system. The suggestion was made by Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie and endorsed by Junior Minister for Tourism Hon. Archibald Christian during the 26 April sitting of the House of Assembly while the $50M CDB loan was being debated.
In making the suggestion Hon. Fahie announced that the current deficit behooves government to consider other revenue generators and he stated that the cargo port is one area to consider. In this stead, Hon. Fahie explained that the two tier tax system is a prime solution.
“I am talking about the cargo ports, we have to go at that seriously. I am one of those who strongly feel that a two tier tariff system will work. I am one of those who strongly feel that if we give the vendors in the country a specific percentage and everybody else a percentage a little higher.”
The Opposition Leader suggested that an introduction of a two tier tax system will require support from other legislators that will facilitate enforcement and implementation: “…Bring in the consumer protection and other laws to make sure that it is being passed on or else we will penalize them and penalize them heavy that we will be able to get more quantity. We will be able to get more revenue while at the same time we will be making our people become millionaires and there is nothing wrong with saying that because we need them here,” the Opposition Leader explained.
The Junior Minister for Tourism announced that he supported the two tier tax suggestion that Hon. Fahie made and stated that such a system will result in savings for all: “I like the double tier tax system. The businesses in the Territory must be able to have a level of duty that allows them to operate and pass those savings on their customers and the economy in the BVI grows.”
Hon. Christian alluded to the fact that persons who currently shop overseas because the prices are said to be better. However, he said with a two tier system the price to shop overseas might not be always cheaper. “If persons wish to go abroad and shop because they believe they have better choices and so on then it is gonna be a little higher. You got something that you thought was a little cheaper overseas until you really start to add up the pieces, the cost, but then you have to pay something higher,” the Junior Minister explained.
One area Hon. Christian said that the two tier system will be beneficial is the importation of used vehicles.