Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has confirmed that pensioners and owners of agricultural land would get a relief from the Municipal Solid Waste Tax.
Speaking ahead of today’s meeting of the social partners at the Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, Sinckler confirmed that specific exemptions have been approved as reported by Barbados TODAY yesterday.
“Pensioners who have property valued at $190,000 on the improved property should be given a 100 per cent waiver of the imposition of the Municipal Solid Waste Tax. For the agriculturalists, Cabinet has agreed on a 50 per cent waiver.
“We just could not give them a blanket waiver because some of them who are engaged in animal husbandry and the poultry industry generate considerable waste,” he told journalists.
“Cabinet also agreed to make it a lot easier on people to pay the tax. We will extend the payment period without the incurrence of penalties and interests. You will now be able to use between now and the end of December to pay. So you can pay weekly or monthly whatever suits your particular budget. This goes for individual taxpayers or associations.”
Meantime, Sinckler took a swipe at some charities who continue to charge that they are burdened by taxation, pointing out that they get “practically everything tax free and duty free.”
“We go further for many charities and give them duty free and VAT free vehicles to auction, luxury vehicles too like Mercedes and BMWs so that they can bring in money. So just saying charity does not mean automatically that everything that is done by the way of taxation should be exempted. I do not think that is the type of society that you want to run,” he pointed out.
The minister stressed that a tax review exercise has already indicated that tax waivers, refunds and credits were gradually and dangerously eroding the tax base in Barbados.
“We have to understand that going forward, when we put taxes in place, we have to ensure that we maintain the structural integrity of the taxes otherwise we are going to have a problem,” Sinckler said.