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Measures coming to bring more revenue

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Persons will soon be paying more for professional licenses, registry fees, survey office fees, vehicular licenses and stamp duties.{{more}}

This was disclosed by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves as he spoke of the new revenue measures in his Budget presentation Monday, January 24.

The prime minister proposed an increase in stamp duties, saying that the rates were last increased in 2002.

He further explained that the approximately 20 per cent increase was intended to “adjust for the change in inflation” and was expected to yield $250,000 in 2011.

While speaking on the issue of stamp duties, Gonsalves said that a decision was made to remove the exemption in respect to deeds of gifts.

“This exemption has been in operation for the last twenty years,” Gonsalves said, adding that the exemption was now being used by unscrupulous persons and lawyers to evade the tax as had been evident by the large numbers of deeds of gifts relative to deeds of transfer registered each year.

“Five years ago I had warned that abuse of this concession beyond its intended scope would require an appropriate response,” the prime minister said.

Professional license fees are expected to increase by 20 per cent and are expected to yield $120,000 per annum, Gonsalves said.

He again noted that the last time these fees were increased was in 2002, but said that since then the government has been lowering the top marginal rate of corporate and personal income tax from 40 to 32.5 percent.

“A measure which the professionals no doubt would have benefitted from, and there is now a steady growth in the number of professionals operating in the country,” Gonsalves said.

Owners of vehicles are also expected to see an increase of at least 15 percent in vehicular licenses.

According to Gonsalves, the government intends to make significant investments in upgrading the road network across the country, including the proposed rehabilitation of the roads on the Leeward side of the island.

“The government is not only faced with the capital and recurrent cost of road repair, but also with the related debt servicing cost as well,” the prime minister explained.

The proposed increase is expected to yield $1.3 million.

He also announced the proposed increases in charges in the schedule of fees for registration of documents and surveys by 25 per cent.

“These fees have not been increased in eight years and the proposed increase will keep them in line with normal inflationary trend,” Gonsalves said. (DD)

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