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Not broke but taxes/fees to increase

- work permit fees, hotel & yacht fees, duties on imported items to be raised; increases to bring in $20M
Delivering the 2016 national budget in the House of Assembly today Monday February 8, 2016, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith said that the funds that the Government has expended to execute a number of projects in the territory have been significant and are monies well spent. Photo: VINO/File
Work permit fees are among those to be increased. Photo: VINO/File
Work permit fees are among those to be increased. Photo: VINO/File
Customs duties are also to be increased according to Premier Smith. Photo: Internet source
Customs duties are also to be increased according to Premier Smith. Photo: Internet source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Delivering the 2016 national budget in the House of Assembly today Monday February 8, 2016, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith said the funds that the Government has expended to execute a number of projects in the territory have been significant and are monies well spent.

“You would agree with me that it is monies well spent. That is how we have chosen to use some of the revenues paid into the treasury and I dare anyone to say that this money was wasted,” he said.

The Premier said that for the year 2016 the territory expects revenue in the amount of $330,846,500.00 and that this sum is larger than has been collected in previous years.

“Notwithstanding evidence, there are those who will make you feel that Government has no money. But that is not the point here. The point is that the demands being made on that revenue stream are greater than ever. But let me assure you that our revenue streams remain intact,” said Premier Smith.

Reminding that he had told the House of Assembly last week that the cash balances in the Consolidated Fund amounted to $6 million, he said that as an operating account its transfers and balances are never stagnant.

“The rising and falling or revenue and cash that goes out as expenditure to pay bills. However, it is important to note that it does not tell the whole story.

According to the Premier, the Reserve Fund, the Emergency Disaster Fund and now this, and excluding cash receivables from the Financial Services Commission, the Government of the Virgin Islands had on hand over $71 million in cash assets.

“Certainly this is not symptomatic of a broke Government but of one that is very diligent in the segregation of its cash assets,” Premier Smith said.

Government continues to claim that the country is not broke but the story on the ground is quite the contrary with many contractors, vendors and musicians owed monies for months and schools lacking basic teaching aids and supplies.

New taxes and fees

The Premier said that based on the challenges from the international scene the territory has not been able to achieve in the past few years what it had become accustomed to in the past. He said despite this the demands of the public and visitors and from the international regulatory community have grown.

“This means that new revenue streams are needed to handle our commitment and obligations. We have to change the old way of doing things if we are to survive,” he said.

The Premier said the work permit structure would be changed so that the fees will be more in line to what is charged in other overseas territories.

Rates of duties granted on the CIF value of items brought into the territory will be increased. There will be a more aggressive approach to the collecting of taxes and fees.

He said these measures are expected to rake in some $20 million in revenue to the treasury.

In addition to these measures, the Government is to establish a more "progressive tax system" in 2017 to improve efficiency and reduce the cost associated with tax collection.

The fee structure for hotel and yachts is to be harmonised also, said Premier Smith, with the aim of consolidating existing fees and making the system easier to monitor.

According to the Premier, 2016 is expected to be a conservative year but that things should get better in 2017 and 2018.

54 Responses to “Not broke but taxes/fees to increase”

  • pat (08/02/2016, 15:31) Like (31) Dislike (0) Reply
    More licks for the poor
  • VG (08/02/2016, 15:47) Like (46) Dislike (1) Reply
    Killin the poor people and oil nut bay necker island mosquito island gettin all their stuff duty free only paying 1% warfage and they bringing in boats cars and building materials
  • wize up (08/02/2016, 16:03) Like (8) Dislike (68) Reply
    all I have been reading recently are pure silly conversation, publications filled with pure criticisms BUT no solutions.... I will love to wake up and read the opposition members telling the territory what are their fiscal plans for the territory for the next 10-25 years( oh $&it I forgot the current opposition is so divided)... The same two guys that can not organize 15 people to form a political party wants to run over 30 thousands People) the current opposition does nothing but find fault with everything the government is doing.All what them fussing over they had the chance to put in place many years ago: the territory is now fixing sewage in 2016; the territory is now upgrade the electrical supply in 2016; the territory is now fighting to fix water supply in 2016(these are things that should have been in place and fully functional some 20 years ago under the Virgin Islands that

    • FYI (08/02/2016, 17:26) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      It was Fraser and the VIP who brought Biwater here to correct our sewage and water woes.
      • wize up (08/02/2016, 20:51) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
        @ FYI: you some how forgot to mention the 43 million dollars in liability to this territory ( talk the whole ting)
    • Anstnest (09/02/2016, 11:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      @wize up Agreed.. critizism with no solution equals nothing, however the subject at hand is not about the opposition but rather with the current Government and the handling of our finances for the past eight years. They are the ones who should be "telling us of their fiscal plans for the territory for the next 10-25 years". By the way please apply to the MCW you may find an opening there for a person to print/paint "Diversion Signs". You seem like a good candidate. After all that is what you are doing.
  • tek dat 4 voting NDP (08/02/2016, 16:30) Like (78) Dislike (1) Reply
    We now have to pay thru our teeth for mark and myron overspending.
  • mad news (08/02/2016, 16:44) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    its time now to stand up and fight back, enuff is enuff.
  • vip (08/02/2016, 16:57) Like (67) Dislike (3) Reply
    VIP start seeking a team of strong individuals. We need an early election!!!!!
    • wize up (08/02/2016, 17:41) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ VIP: I second that motion ( try work with them so come 2019 the voters will have an option)
    • yes (08/02/2016, 19:09) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree. Dont wait until close to next election to get yourselves together guys. Come on Fraser & Fahie!
  • Rylston (08/02/2016, 17:08) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Where is the accountability for the last 4+ years?
    • wize up (08/02/2016, 20:55) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
      @ Rylston: what about that 650K, that drag race money and medical school money; where is that accountability under the last administration
      • Yes (09/02/2016, 20:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        They are in the ministry of education. I am sure it would be very easy to COI both of them. Nothing to hide. While doing those have them do the cruise pier, hospital and Elizabeth park
  • vip (08/02/2016, 17:28) Like (31) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is why the snap election was called and now they are going to give out free food and fireworks to fool ayo next week.
  • Charley Rose (08/02/2016, 18:00) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    I would like to respond to WZE UP. It is about time we look at the territory as a whole and don't bury our heads in the sand. I wonder if WIZE UP is wearing glasses from the local ophthalmologist that is why his vision is impaired. I will recommend he change his ophthalmologist. Only a blind person cannot see that the country is experiencing economic challenges. With more taxes being introduced there will be negative consequences for the local indigenous people. Where will we go to earn a livelihood. Guessed we do not forget our men were going to harvest sugar cane in Dominica Republic and Barbados.
    • wize up (09/02/2016, 06:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Charley Rose: I was told that my grandfather left the VI in search of betterment (so I do know)....all I am saying stop sitting and talking about our circumstances and join NDP, PEP, VIP and all other P's and come up with solutions because at the end of the the territory suffers NOT political affiliation... I remember when this territory hardly had roads but the leader back then did not sit and talk, they set progress in motion and today all of us can get from east end to west end...its is best if we stop pointing fingers come together and offer solutions ( other parts of the world have economic challenges NOT only the BVI)
  • Solid (08/02/2016, 19:00) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    All this government talks about is money, How to spend it an how to mak it back,we are using us dollars jus lik every American country, but minimum wage is 4.50.its time for $ 8 or $10.
  • Worried (08/02/2016, 19:38) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Lord Help Us (08/02/2016, 20:25) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can u imagine paying more with the same low salary (minimum wage) and these wicked employers don't even give some employees full hrs work and they pay for a full time permit and don't give permission for part time
    God don't sleep tho!!
  • dem say (08/02/2016, 20:55) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only now the demons flying (1) a wall at the High School that cost over a mil (2) pier over 82 mils (3) a car almost a 100 grand when the people den suffering (4) Treasury broke (5) no money in the kitty. Should I say more. Just SHAMEFUL
  • never again (08/02/2016, 21:02) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    I aint ever voting for ndp again...and fix the bloody roads for goodness sake!!
    • agreed (09/02/2016, 12:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I ain't voting again period. At the end of the day all of them the same. They day what we want to hear until they are in power, then do what they want.
  • Buzz Bvi (08/02/2016, 21:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look at those wasted empty parking spaces.
  • Pissed (08/02/2016, 22:15) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply

    This government really ph$%*#@g up this country and its people . Millions spent n the poor got to pay for it all. Sad

    • Notonmywatch (09/02/2016, 00:02) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      According to the Premier it was money well spent. During election season I clearly remember the NDP Spinners on full blast repeating over, and over again we need four more years to finish what we started, well it done now. Fraser does not like expatriates he is going to send you home, well I don't see where they will have any other choice but to go home now. If you don't vote for the NDP administration there is no other to put in, a country full of smart educated people. But guess what, even though they did nothing different than their first term the majority got caught up in their fabricated hype and guzzle that koolaid like brainless Jim Jones disciples, it appears some might have had a triple dose. No surprise here.
  • Curious George (08/02/2016, 22:54) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    So the government can afford to give away $7 million to an airline that won't ever be successful then raise our taxes and fees cause funds are short. That make sense???
  • BVI watch out! (08/02/2016, 23:20) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    who looking out for the people WHO?
  • Observer (08/02/2016, 23:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They're human just like we are. We should quit fooling ourselves that they aren't., as the NDP man dem wil do as they please
  • Sherry (09/02/2016, 00:18) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    and much of the extra costs will be transferred to ex-pat and tourists with extra taxes and charges. This will eventually hurt the economy because they will go elsewhere. What with departure taxes, ferry fees, Road town destinations bypassing West End and the addition of expensive taxis, it costs another $150 just to get here. I have friends who have moved on because this place is too hard to get to and too expensive. And NO ONE wants to go to the airport when the live at the other end of the island!
  • Sandy (09/02/2016, 00:20) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    How about I've lost ALL respect for the leader of this country. Disappointed is an understatement!!!
  • pat (09/02/2016, 00:30) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    and yet he buys a $92,500 car to be the big man.
  • a man is a man. (09/02/2016, 04:36) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    This NDP is blatantly , obviously, biasly. Hatefully, ungodly targeteting xpats and poor in this Country
  • Poor poor people (09/02/2016, 04:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope Mr. All talk now have the courage to increase minimum wage. Anybody knows how rich Mr all talk is. With all his billionaire friends he must have some good hell with poor people. Most of them from the island anyway
  • Two questions (09/02/2016, 05:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    How much would government save in 10 yrs. If government hrt their own buildings and stop paying rent. My maths told me 15 million in the first ten yrs and 4 million every year after the first ten yrs. 2/ How many would government save if they reduce and cap government workers salary including ministers to not to exceed $75,000. Annually. My math told me $2.5 million a year. These are bold and wise moves. Why not go this room Mr Premier.
  • Cookie Monster (09/02/2016, 05:14) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply

    Taxes to pay for stupid decision after stupid decision after stupid decision. We need an alternative to this bunch of greedy gluts

    We need a new government pronto!:

    This is an SOS from the SS BVI
    Location off the coast USVI
    SOS! SOS! Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!
    Help! Help!

    Captain this ship is sinking
    Captain these seas are rough, oh yes
    We gas tank almost empty
    No electricity, we oil pressure reading low
    Shall we abandon ship
    Or shall we stay on it and perish slow
    We doh know, we doh know
    Captain you tell we what to d
  • ndp (09/02/2016, 05:23) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Keep playing with people's lives. Not a good thing. God will not bless that. Keep on living.
  • Star (09/02/2016, 06:30) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    The people are crying, we are crying. But because these politicians are snickering and giggling amongst themselves; they cant hear our cries or see our tears.
  • resident (09/02/2016, 07:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is he raising taxes to finance his plane to Miami? Is it to pay for his new Mercades? He allowed his ministers to mess up now he wants to kill the people of the Virginislands with higher taxes. This government is too greedy that is why there iis not enough funds. Where is our governor who in the name of the queen is to protect the rights of the people of these islands? There is unfinished road work which started before election. Where has the money gone? It is more than six months.
  • George Fahie (09/02/2016, 08:35) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Friends The Worst Is Yet To Come.....
  • Worried (09/02/2016, 08:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Help (09/02/2016, 08:59) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    People help Zika is here ,brace yourself ,follow Puerto Rico News ,where is our Misleaders not a peep yet on this serious matter.Where is our doctors who call themselves leaders ,all they doing is spending like drunking Fools what next a Bentley ...Save us lord,SAve us ,Zika is near..
  • from here (09/02/2016, 09:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Tourist (09/02/2016, 09:45) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Doc make sure he secured his deal before his retirement ,after all his Ministers securing all their deals so he seal his investment for life ,stay tune for more news on this deal..People don't be fool by these Misleaders..Why didn't he let the A G look at this deal ?Why didn't he took it to the house ? Interesting minds want to know...WE watching you Doc with Eagle Eyes..
  • Scaredg (09/02/2016, 09:50) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Will someone send a petition to the FCO asking them to look into what is happening here. We need help from these cruel leaders.
  • Len (09/02/2016, 09:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I've said it before and a few other have said it as well: that this administration if re-elected would increase tax. To be frank, it was not hard to predict as this administration is bent on overspending and "oppression of the poor". Any increase means more money coming out of our pockets and what better way of taxing "Islanders"(custom duties) as we shop ever so frequently in St Thomas.

    To future voters! Be wise: If you don't want to vote VIP members then "vote for individuals" and have then form an administration that would effectively run this beautiful nation. BE WARNED!
  • spot lite (09/02/2016, 10:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    we can not have these people doing these nonsense and keep going on like its nothing ,as if they are not doing wrong to thee people them.Naturally Distroying People.ndp
  • Protest (09/02/2016, 11:44) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    time to get of the blog and hit the street and fight back
  • Psychic (09/02/2016, 14:59) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have a vision. I see hundred dollar bills sprouting wings and flying away....wee wee wee.....
  • voter (09/02/2016, 17:13) Like (1) Dislike (60) Reply
    Yall talking about NDP doing a bad job and this and that. What I would say is.... that both parties weren't fit to run the country. The VIP did not have a line up that was strong enough to atleast try to run the country. NDP on the other hand had more developed people compared to the VIP. So we would have been hurting either way but probably worse with the weaker team.
  • NDP heckler (10/02/2016, 23:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tax increase especially in a deep recession,that is apparently sick and stupid
  • Common Sense (20/02/2016, 14:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lets look at some of what NDP Government say its doing to help improve the country and its peoples lives

    1. Increase passport fee
    2. Increase departure tax
    3. Implement NHI
    4. Increase Taxes
    5. Increase work permit

    AND there is still more to come.

    Now is it just me or does it seem like none of this is really helping the country or its people? I know not everything a government does everyone is going to like but who is this really benefiting more than the government itself. A government that willfully ignores its people is no government to me. NDP = Neglect De People

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