Online poll: Higher import duties or VAT best options for new taxes

If the Cayman Islands has to impose additional taxation, higher import duties or Value Added Tax were the favourite choice of respondents to last week’s online poll. 

Property tax was the next most popular choice. 

Of the 605 total respondents, 187 people – 30.9 per cent – thought additional import duties or Value Added Tax is best option. 

“A fee of say 4 per cent on goods and services would be something everyone would have to contend with,” said one person. “I think that would help us get out of this mess.” 

“And no favours at the airport,” said someone else, referring to those who do not pay proper import duties when they return from shopping overseas. 

“Higher import duties, but no VAT,” said another respondent. 

“Sales tax on all consumable goods except for basic food items and fuel,” suggested one person. “As you consume you pay; that’s fair to each person as you have the power to manage your level of expenditure.” 

Another 139 people – 23 per cent – thought property tax was the best option if Cayman has to have additional taxation.  

“I am an expat who owns property here,” said one person. “I don’t want to pay taxes – nobody does – but if I had to pick my poison, it would be property tax because I think that’s fair.” 

“Property tax hits the people who can afford to pay,” said someone else. “It doesn’t have to be super high and there can be a homestead exemption of $200,000 or so, which means only rich Caymanians will be affected, along with a lot of ultra rich tourists who own Seven Mile Beach properties.” 

“Replace stamp duty with a property tax that will give government a more secure income stream,” said another person. 

Eighty-five respondents – 14.1 per cent – thought a payroll tax on all Cayman Islands residents was the best choice. 

“Payroll tax is the only truly fair tax and despite what most people think, is now implemented with success,” said one respondent. 

“How will the government fund the important things that a country needs to have?” asked one person. “Funding has to come from its citizens and especially its workforce. A sure tax is the payroll taxes from all wage earners.” 

Fifty-three people, or 8.7 per cent of the total number of respondents, thought a payroll tax on expatriates only was the best option.  

“For expats and permanent residents, but on 2 per cent of their salaries only,” said the only person to leave a comment who voted for this choice. 

Another high segment of people – 141 people or 23.3 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question and many of them left suggestions. More than 50 people insisted on no additional taxation at all. 

“Cayman is so expensive in every way,” said one person. “If it adds any tax, people will leave the country for sure.” 

Many of the people who didn’t want to see any taxation called for reduced government spending.  

“Cayman shouldn’t need additional taxes,” said one person. “Cut the senseless spending!” 

“Cayman would never have to impose any new taxes if governments would follow the days of old – only spend what you can afford,” said one person. “Imposing any sort of tax in a tiny country where more than half the residents are transitory could never be sustainable.” 

“Cut expenditure and lower those big salaries,” said another person. 

“All of these ideas hurt business and discourage investment,” said someone else. “Cut expenditures.” 

“Stay tax-free at all costs,” said someone else. “Cut spending and you won’t need taxes. Trust me, once you start it will never stop. Ever.” 

“Cut government spending, including cutting unnecessary workers,” said another person. 

Several people suggested allowing casinos or starting a lottery to raise revenue. Others suggested a tax on deposits, currency exchange or the transfer of funds. 

“Tax all money transfers and foreign money orders going out of Cayman banks,” said one person. “Remove all duty concessions because these are not being passed on to consumers, including those concessions for developers.” 

“Increase car licence costs,” said someone else.  

“Do away with entitlement and have everyone pay their fair share,” said another person. 

“Tax only the civil servants for the privilege of being the only ones with representation in government,” said one person. 

“Tax only Caymanians because they get benefits like free schools for their kids and free health care,” said another respondent.  

“Payroll tax on Caymanians only,” said someone else. “It’s their country; they should take care of it.” 

“Tax liquor, tobacco products and fast foods,” said one person. 

“Raise tax on tourists leaving the island,” said another person. 

“How about a higher rate of tax on all luxury goods,” said someone else. 

“Luxury property tax,” said another person. 

“A tax on luxury goods like boats, cars, houses over $1 million, TVs bigger than 32 inches, etc.” 


Next week’s poll question 

If elections were held tomorrow, which way would you be inclined to vote? 

For UDP candidates 

For PPM candidates 

For a new third party’s candidates

For independent candidates 

I can’t vote 

I can, but wouldn’t vote 

online poll


  1. There should have been an option for a 10Million dollar personal tax on each elected member if government spending by 20%. Allowing this bunch to tax and waste has to end.

  2. Now CayCompass, why would you TIE-IN Higher Import Duties with the VAT tax???!!! They are two different things!

    Editor’s Note: Yes, they are different, but both would ultimately be consumption taxes as opposed to the other taxes listed.

  3. The government is putting everyone to sleep at this moment before they pass the laws for all these new taxes. They are leaving all options for cuts or efficiency increases on the back burners instead of facing those situations. It is just too hard and does not buy votes. What a bunch of nonchalents. They are suppose to represent all Caymanians. Not just a few.

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