St Lucia to Debate 8 Percent Value Added Tax on Hotel Sector

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 22, 2012

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia’s House of Assembly is meeting this week to debate several major motions, including a proposal from the Minister of Finance to set a Value Added Tax rate of 8 percent on the country’s hotel sector.

The proposal would also include services provided in the tourism industry.

St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony had said in May that the tax would replace several of St Lucia’s taxes, including consumption tax, hotel accommodation tax and mobile phone taxes, among others.

The VAT levies a standard rate of 15 percent on some goods and services; others, like certain foods items, are exempt.

“The overall rationale for the introduction of a VAT as a general tax on consumption is to broaden the tax base and move towards a system which decreases the tax burden on income in favour of consumption,” Anthony said in May.

The other motion includes a request to borrow EC $154 million ($57 million USD) to refinance existing loans in order to repay a loan of EC $35.7 million for dollars incurred for the purchase of the Daher Mall by the previous administration, the government said.

The debate begins Tuesday morning.

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