Editorial for 11 October: Tax free Cayman?

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
every tourist.

Recently the government announced higher fees for vehicle
licensing and work permits. Call them what you will, these are all simply
taxes.

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
current rate.

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.

 

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. 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 current rate.

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    The government is implementing property tax. The tax is based on the value of ones property.

  2. Many, if not most of us don’t like to pay taxes in whatever shape or form they come in. And, that is understandable to a point. However, government must get revenues from whatever sources to run the government and maintain services that government is obligated to provide the public.

    I fully agree that there is waste and abuses in government spending, which must be constantly addressed with a view to do something about it. In addition, government needs to eliminate and consolidate certain positions where practical thereby making itself leaner, more efficient and of course, more cost effective.

    It would be most unfair to make any comparison between Cayman and say the USA. However, New York City (where I reside) obtains some of its taxes in similar ways to that of Cayman, For example, we are taxed on the gasoline/diesel we put in our motor vehicles, likewise alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. New York State also imposes a tax on motor vehicle registration (license) fees.

    This might be of a miniscule comfort to some. But as the saying goes, you just have to grin and bear it and don’t let stress you out.

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