Most people who know something about the Cayman Islands but
never resided here usually think we’re tax free.
That myth has served the country well in attracting vital
foreign investment and in attracting essential foreign labour and expertise. Of
course, those who have resided in the Cayman Islands know better and those that
invest here soon find out that the myth is merely that: a myth.
Anyone who pays a utility bill or puts fuel into their car,
truck or boat knows that the government taxes fuel. Those who smoke cigarettes know that they’re
paying about $10 for a pack of 20 now because the government taxes tobacco.
Those who drink alcohol, and particularly beer, know that
the government is receiving a hefty tax with every bottle or can sold. In
addition to higher accommodation taxes and departure fees, our tourists can now
look forward to paying even more money for their holiday drinks.
Buying almost anything here is significantly more expensive
than in North American largely because of import duty, which is just another
word for tax. Those import duty rates were increased a couple of years ago,
driving up the cost of living for every resident and the cost of a vacation for
Recently the government announced higher fees for vehicle
licensing and work permits. Call them what you will, these are all simply
This week, the government announced it was going to increase
the relatively modest stamp tax on property insurance policies from a flat $12
to 2 per cent of the annual premium amount, an increase of many, many times the
Since the government announced in early August, to the great
relief of many, it was abandoning a payroll tax, one of our reporters has
stayed extremely busy writing story after story about the new taxes, fees and
fines being imposed by the government.
All we can say is it’s a good thing Cayman is tax free
because if a highly taxed people were to look at the amount of waste and abuses
in government spending, they might just decide to do something about it.