Chamber surveying impact of taxes on businesses

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) is gauging businesses on how real property and other taxes are affecting their ability to conduct business in the country.

Jeffrey Beckles, the chamber’s chief executive officer, said it’s a part of the BCCEC’s ongoing working agenda to properly determine how government policies are impacting businesses.

“Every time we do this we don’t only want to come out and say, ‘oh you know businesses are complaining’. We’re using that as a tool to help figure out what it is we need to help government work on,” Beckles told Guardian Business.

“Is there a better way, is there a more viable option? Our working agenda with government will be a perpetual one, so there’s always going to be something, so the idea is to quantify it sufficiently so that we can say to government, look, here’s another issue, here’s specifically how it’s affecting members of the business community, here’s our recommendation on how we think we can flesh this out to a better, more viable solution.”

The survey was sent out to 140 businesses last week.

“We’re now going through line by line to measure which issue they have, if any, and we’re hoping to get a few more back before the end of the day, to give us a good capacity to say we’ve had sufficient responses to analyze it and here is generally where people stand,” Beckles said.

“We had one that was specifically on taxes as the area of concern and then we had one that was related to the evaluation process and how it’s impacting them and what has been their experience. Because out of that we also intend to not only speak to that issue, but this helps us to confine the working agenda for the chamber and government.”

The recent implementation of several tax initiatives was considered crucial to improving the ease of doing business, including the removal of value-added tax (VAT) charges on transfers pursuant to court orders; and the introduction VAT services to non-resident shipping companies. 

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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