Alternatives to property, income taxes

Alternatives to income and property taxes are vital to consider along with serious government fiscal restraint.

I would love to see a get-green plan implemented in Cayman that would aid us financially and environmentally. I would encourage government to consider pollution tax and green incentives as part of the solution to our current financial state.

For example, civil servants could measure emissions from plants such as the CUC and impose a graduated fine for days that do not meet or exceed US EPA and/or EU emissions standards. We could set higher dumping and littering fees and encourage police to enforce these as part of their revenue generation.

Perhaps we could have a pay by the bag system for garbage collection, where instead of paying a flat rate, we could buy biodegradable garbage bags or simply tags for individual households. Garbage collection bin fees could also be increased.

Place a commercial import tax on heavily packaged items for resale and give a rebate to importers for used packaging collected and shipped off island for recycling.

As for the incentive programme part – private businesses wishing to provide recycling and composting services should be given special advantages to encourage their development.

Renewable energy products should be duty free – but for their packaging. We should encourage a private business to set up a co-generation plasma gasification plant(s) for garbage incineration and energy creation and simply maintain national garbage collection.

I could go on – higher licensing fees for gas guzzling vehicles, gas tax, of course sin taxes (liquor and tobacco) should also be considered. There are lots of creative ideas that could help prevent the death knoll that income and property taxes represent to this jurisdiction. Best wishes to those who will be considering them all this week.

Deirdre Billes

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