A Case of Government Increasing Taxes to Support Consumption Habits of the People


It is ironic that in the historic month of November when Barbados prepare to celebrate ‘independence’ from England in 1966 AND jettison the Queen of England as our head of state, we are being described in some quarters as beggars and borrowers. Those with political blinkers will be happy to apportion blame to BLP or DLP.

Barbados has earned the classification as a high price destination for a reason. In order for government to meet the expense of supporting our way of life, taxes are levied on citizens to collect revenue. The majority of citizens if asked will understand the requirement to collect taxes, disagreement comes deciding which services, commodities should be taxed and by how much.

The news that government will be updating the master list of tariffs has triggered a lot of debate in the country. Unfortunately as an import dependent island, we have to import from wine to iodine. The blogmaster holds the view successive governments are happy the manage the cost of living by manipulating tariffs to protect precious foreign exchange reserves – internal devaluation. It is a fine balance successive governments of Barbados have managed to protect the parity of the dollar.

Last week local talk show moderator Dr. Kristina Hinds asked why women underwear attract a higher tariff compared to male underwear. Another example how duty impacts final cost was illustrated in this example posted to Twitter by @Michael B. of a tee shirt for $40.00 attracting $73.84 in shipping fees, $133.19 import duty, VAT$43.23 and 2% foreign exchange fee $2.28. Total final value based on ASYCUDA calculator $292.54. Apparently the brokerage fee is not included in the calculation! A reminder duties are calculated on the CIF which means to focus on the original cost of the item is misleading.

Minister Ryan Straughn has rationalized the updating of the tariffs has been done within the context of Caricom as it relates to where goods originate. Whatever the means.

A legitimate question to be asked is why was the government quick to forgive 500 million in VAT takings and is in hurry mode to revise the 2017 tariff list? We know the answer, government is leaking revenue and as usual looking for the easy fix. Analogous to the BWA leaking 50% of the to the aquifer and instead of an aggressive program to replace 100 year old pipes, the solution is to increase the water rate – reminiscent to the 60% rate hike by the late prime minister David Thompson government.

Here is a suggestion from a BU family member, collect duty from those importers who misuse the barrel trade. How many of the barrels include mock hair and the receiver of the barrel goes scot-free by paying a flat $100.0 fee? For goodness sakes, understand the inflationary effect a hike in customs duties will have on households AT THIS TIME. Again, we are an import dependent country, successive governments have embarked on a policy approach to import items because local cost of production is high. Here we are again, rampant conspicuous consumption has returned to bite us in the rear. 

We have become addicted to a lifestyle that is unsustainable. Blame successive governments, blame citizens, blame both groups. We will descend to the bottom of the pit TOGETHER.

62 thoughts on “A Case of Government Increasing Taxes to Support Consumption Habits of the People

  1. Duties ‘too high’ for average Bajan
    THE “FEES”, or duties and other taxes, imposed on some imported goods, coupled with the lack of speed when it comes to processing those items, are making it hard for the average person, says Government backbencher Dr Sonia Browne.
    Speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday during debate on the Customs Bill, 2021, which was subsequently passed, she gave a personal example where “some clothes” she ordered for her little girl took two months to clear Customs.
    The St Philip North representative said Barbadians were at the stage for a while where they “no longer enjoy the privilege of being tourists overseas” or having restful vacations. Instead, vacations were now used for shopping because of the costs associated with “buying everyday items for use” and for occasions such as weddings, parties and school.
    “It’s hard, especially with a credit card and now the duties. The cost of living in Barbados obviously yes, COVID-19 is one of the reasons, but for years the cost of living in Barbados has been fairly high.
    “I did some checking and found out that . . . personal items like soap, medicated or otherwise, 40 per cent duties plus VAT; toilet paper and paper towels, 20 per cent duties plus VAT; diapers, 20 per cent duties plus VAT.
    “Then we move onto clothing. Clothing for babies . . . that is 20 per cent duties on diapers plus VAT. No problem using cloth diapers, I used them myself, but the convenience is important for our mothers and fathers out there. Clothing for adults and children outside of T-shirts, 60 per cent plus VAT; T-shirts 115 per cent plus VAT. These are things that affect my constituents,” she told the Lower Chamber.
    “Things like fruits and vegetables, we’re in the era now when we constantly speak about non-communicable diseases and the importance of eating healthy to prevent these and ease the load on the hospitals and other health care institutions. But on checking, I’m seeing things like frozen vegetables, canned vegetables, 20
    per cent duties plus VAT,” said Browne, who also listed the duties for other vegetables, feminine sanitary products, canned fish and meats.
    She suggested a greater push towards manufacturing and agriculture. She added that although the latter was widely perceived as menial, there was a need to change the mindset of children about agriculture and show them what it offered.
    Browne also argued it was time to have university graduates delve more into research and development to ascertain what the overseas market required.
    “We know the overseas market loves our rum. There must be other products we can use for the overseas market. We need to do the research and development . . . in those areas with respect to manufacturing.”

    Source: Nation

  2. Sounds familiar!

    Effort to stop cost of living from rising
    GOVERNMENT IS HOPEFUL that its efforts to improve business facilitation will help stop the cost of living from increasing.
    That was the reasoning of Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, as he explained how the introduction of an electronic single window system would cut the bureaucratic red tape that has been “stifling the business community of this country”.
    Last month when Barbados hosted the 15th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Symmonds and UNCTAD secretary general Rebeca Grynspan signed an agreement worth $4.2 million to facilitate trade by the implementation of an electronic single window system with the assistance of the Automated System For Customs Data (ASYCUDA) programme.
    In his contribution during debate on the Customs Bill, 2021, in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, the minister said the electronic single window as intended was “really a federation . . . of all Government administrative and all Government regulatory agencies at one place in one space”.
    He said satisfying the 26 agencies’ own requirements “became overbearing and collectively the compliance costs to the importer and to the exporter have driven the cost of business up in this country, and the people who suffer as a result of that are our consumers.
    “The politics in this is that we are making now the circumstances such that the cost of living in Barbados cannot justifiably continue to be increased if you are making the process faster, more transparent [and easier], and therefore it should also be less costly. That is what this is really about,” he said.
    Symmonds added that achieving these efficiencies would be possible “because we do it on a digitised platform”. “The advantage is that [the departments will] interface with each other at any given time and that there is a single entry point for every person who is seeking to conduct business in
    Barbados, whether that person is an importer of something or whether that person is an exporter of something,” he explained.
    “The facilitation that they get is an ease of passage through the regulatory agencies so that the requirements of the regulatory agencies can be assessed by the agencies themselves, there can be a cross referencing.
    “If Customs has some view about what [the Ministry of] Agriculture or the Ministry of Commerce’s concerns are, Customs can go onto the space, find out what it is that the Ministry of Commerce had to say about the matter, [and] there can be a cross referencing in the interest of expediting this process,” he noted.
    Symmonds said this meant the processes would sometimes take three to four months to complete could now be “dealt with in three hours”.

    Source: Nation

  3. We should lower import duties for all vaccinated people. That would be a great incentive to get vaccinated!

    It should also be noted that the internal value of the BBD is close to zero. I have started to use the 50 dollar note as toilet paper.

  4. (Quote):
    Here we are again, rampant conspicuous consumption has returned to bite us in the rear. (Unquote).

    In the absence to a much needed adjustment to the rate of exchange of the local currency vis-à-vis foreign currencies how else can “conspicuous consumption” be reduced to suit the country’s forex earning performance?

    Barbados just cannot continue to borrow forex to sustain its citizens’ current high dependence on imported junk especially processed food, stale water in plastic bottles and motor cars for domestic use.

  5. @ David

    When I heard Minister Straughn talk about increasing duties to support their revenue base I saw red!

    Is this not the same goverment that months ago forgave $500 million dollars in VAT receipts because they could not collect on it ? So you throw away a half billion dollars in state receivables because your VAT office doesn’t function and now you coming to increase the cost of imports on a population that has already been hit by increased freight charges? Total and complete lunacy.

    Oh and let me remind all of wunna the duty goes on the total cost of the goods including the freight. So goverment is ALREADY collecting higher rates of duty based on the massive increase in freight. Minister Straughn of course forgot to mention that!

    Also why hasn’t Mr Strughn giving a directive to charge the correct duty on the barrel traders at the port. In other words those that bring in 8 and 10 barrels with each barrel consigned to a different person. Does Mr Straugn know that some of these barrels have in over $20,000 in items like hair and pay a mere $100 in personal duty!

    Let’s now turn to the airport where the big black duffle bags sail through customs stuffed with clothes from Miami and New York, what you doing about them?

    You see your collection systems are so poor that instead of fixing them, you want to increase duties to the companies that do things legally and you can depend on for revenue. I guess it’s just easier to tax those you can find instead of doing wunna dam job. Then again them is the small man and elections is only round the corner so don’t touch them.

    The folly above all I have mentioned in your approach though is this. By increasing duty to those that pay like the big importers such as supermarkets, you are in fact carrying up the prices to all of us due to an inept collection system. Instead you should be focusing on collecting from all the ones doing crap and beating the system.

    In closing Mr Minister I liken the BRA to the water authority. You losing 40% of what you should be collecting to leaks in you system, but instead of fixing the old pipes and illegal connections you increasing water rates to those that legally paying for the other 60%. In other words let the thieves go free and lock up the law abiding.

    Tell muh de truth you don’t see a problem with dat approach even though elections round de corner?

    Don’t answer I already know the reply cause parties change, but it’s the same old story under a different colour tent that’s all.

    • @John A

      The government wants revenue especially at this time. This issue with many of the points raised by you have been knocking dog on Twitter this week. The forgiveness of taxes – and some argue VAT does not quality to be so treated – is always shrouded in political considerations. Remember when Thompson forgave the BTC 19 million?

  6. @David

    You can’t forgive $500M in Vat and then come to me for higher duties sorry!

    Put you house in order and stop expecting an already burdened population to finance your inefficiency.

  7. A government that forces you to account to them for the way you spend YOUR money but refuses to be accountable to you for how they
    spend YOUR money should be immediately replaced.

  8. A time.y topic and one desirous of serious discussion. Unfortunately, too many interventions resort to the old clitchees, like conspicuous consumption. What is conspicuous consumption? Are not the goods mentioned in the lists consumption goods? Can a small island with a small population produce all that it needs to consume ? What the RH do you want to do to the population ? Starve them? Make them walk around naked? Remove the roofs from over their heads?

    In case you have not noticed ,it is the consumption goods that are overtaxed because we all have to consume. We are like dogs spinning all around trying to catch our literal and figurative tails. As John A and I have preached for years STOP the leaks in the tax and other systems. The Electorate are not amused..

  9. Taking into consideration BTMI’s initiative to select a non-national as head of our Tourism thrust and this new intent to further burden the overloaded and exhausted citizens with additional unconscionable taxation, would it be unreasonable for Barbados Light & Power to expect a piece of the consumer pie also? Give a good reason for BL&P to withdraw their application for an increase.

  10. @ Vincent Codrington November 18, 2021 9:35 AM

    So how would you classify whisky, brandy, coconut water in cans, Mercedes Benz over 2,000 c.c’s, to drive on makeover cartroads, stale water in plastic bottles, ’exotic’ sweetened fruit juices from South Africa and mock hair from S.E. Asia?

    Bajans can import those things when they earn (not borrow) the foreign money to afford them.

    You are living way above your means and a correction is just around the corner!

  11. @ Miller at 9 :48 AM
    All the goods in your catalogue are primarily consumed by the tourists and foreign based owners of luxury residences and persons who are rich enough to buy them. It is not the lower income groups that are purchasing these items. They provide their own foreign exchange.
    Of course you may continue to hold and propagate your narrative. But facts are facts. Remember our debate about a tired Tourism Industry that was on a plateau and on the brink of descent? Time longer than twine.

    • @Vincent

      You are firmly anchored in lalaland. Addicted to conspicuous consumption is more about an attitude and behaviour than a commodity.

  12. @David, based on the sound input from the economically knowledgeable bloggers we can readily see that this would be one big freaking joke (govts saying one thing and doing the other, basically) … if this was not so absolutely serious for the average Bajan!

    There is no recourse … because as @Miller alludes to (and has been said repeatedly) : we have been forever overextending ourselves with champagne tastes based on a mauby credit card a/c …that reckoning must come due some darling!

    Oh BTW not sure if this is part of the govt joking or not … but I found this remark hilarious : “…moderator Dr. Kristina Hinds asked why women underwear attract a higher tariff compared to male underwear”.

    Well, after all one underwater protects an asset that has been known to start wars that topple countries, cause murderous rages, create emotive glory and so much more … the other blah! 😙🤣

    So I can see the higher tariff quite easily … 😇

    Alas, a joke if not so damn serious!

    I gone.

    • @Dee Word

      With the proliferation of credit and credit cards and the ease which online purchasing can be done, we have created a monster. Borrow borrow and beg to pay our Amazon bills. Then there is the flip side issue of local entrepreneurs needing to purchase raw materials/inputs from overseas and how the current arrangement impacts price to customer.

  13. Oh dear… “come due some DAY”

    Not sure how autotype read my cynical thoughts and typed out some darling.

    Scary! 🤦🏾‍♂️

  14. Bajan Consumer HELL

    “Another example how duty impacts final cost was illustrated in this example posted to Twitter by @Michael B. of a tee shirt for $40.00 attracting $73.84 in shipping fees, $133.19 import duty, VAT$43.23 and 2% foreign exchange fee $2.28. Total final value based on ASYCUDA calculator $292.54. Apparently the brokerage fee is not included in the calculation! A reminder duties are calculated on the CIF which means to focus on the original cost of the item is misleading.”



    De government Tax, de Government tax, tax and more tax.

    De people of BARBADOS are LADEN with TAXES and over priced products for many years

    De People need a break. PLEASE!!!!

  15. @ Vincent Codrington November 18, 2021 10:18 AM

    You have to be living in a different universe to that one called Barbadoes.

    Have you ever seen tourists wearing Afros wigs made from S.E. Asian hair while drinking brandy and vodka instead of rum?

    Who drive around those high-end luxury vehicles (designed for autobahns) on the cart roads of the 2×3 island? Black-faced white tourists wanting to perform a minstrel show?

    Do you see that kind of vehicular ostentation in Bermuda which is a country many times richer than Barbadoes?

    Why not leave your middle class Ivory Tower and take a stroll down Swan Street?

    When Barbados is in a position to earn the forex to maintain the kind of lifestyle by all ,means go for it.

    We are sure you would take moral umbrage to an unemployed woman (or man) taking money from the local Welfare system to buy rum, gamble/play the lottery and top up her phone to go on social media instead of looking after the basic needs of her children.

  16. @ David BU at 10:23 AM
    We are discussing tax revenue yield here, not attitude and behaviour. The latter do not increase revenue to close Public Finance deficits. You are fixated on changing behaviour and to what end ? We are at a loss.
    It is important to contemplate whether a tax policy will improve or worsen the situation. Tax incidence is therefore important. The taxes under discussion fall on commodities that the lower income groups consume to sustain themselves.I have little patience with L a La Land measures.

    • @Vincent

      There it was the blogmaster was wondering what the discipline of behavioural economics is all about. Accept our apology.

  17. @ Miller at 10 :37 AM

    I certainly am living in an alternate universe to you.I do not major in minors. The impact of the working classes hair styles and dress have a minor impact on the Balance of Payments. Please check the import statistics . You and I know where the Foreign Exchange leakages and wastage are.

  18. @ Tron


    “We should lower import duties for all vaccinated people. That would be a great incentive to get vaccinated!”


    How many bajans import goods. Are you referring to de merchants ?

    That won’t raise de bar on Vaccines 💉 by any significant number.

    We are paying a high price to sustain our $

    Our supreme leader need to take drastic measures today and bring us out of de financial rut.

  19. @ David
    @ Miller

    Don’t get distracted by what you see as questionable consumption as that is a red herring in this conversation and must not be focused on.

    The issue is how can government continue to murder the populace with taxation in an attempt to masks its inefficiencies. That should be our focus.

    In other words how can they increase the cost of living more as opposed to doing their job and fixing their revenue collection issues? Every government here has failed to address this and that is why we are the most expensive place in the Caribbean to live. Let’s look at the below simple example.

    Country needs $100 to run and has 50 people on it.
    So 50 people x2 =100

    Straughn’s logic needs the same hundred dollars but can’t find 25 of the fifty people to tax so:

    The 25 he finds must pay $4 to give him the $100 he needs.

    What sort of crap is that? Look fix the dam strainer you got for tax collection system then come talk to us for God sake Do!

  20. @ David Bu at 10 : 45 AM

    No apology required since no offense was intended. It is a discussion.
    Behavioural Economics treats human behaviour as a given and designs strategies and policies around man’s behaviour. Economics ,like most social and physical sciences, put man at centre stage. It is about Man and how he reacts to events,environment and other men.
    From some of your posts you give the impression that leaders can change the nature /behaviour of man. Of course there are figures in History that tried to do this,but unsuccessfully..

    • @Vincent

      Noted. Although it must be stated that arising from the 2006 global financial crisis the discipline of behavioural economics was an unknown variable.

  21. A cowering government that has taken every twist and turn so as to avoid mandating the vaccine, because it would alienate the boisterous over-informed suddenly has the courage and willpower to mandate increases in the rate of duties, knowing full well that the duties are almost at a usury rate already. If they are afraid of losing votes and seats at the next election if vaccines are mandated, the imagination is incapable of grasping the enormity of rejection that awaits.

  22. @ David

    Also remember we have worked and paid state taxes on our income already so it is up to the taxpayer to determine his consumption not the state. We are not in China or Russia.

    Now also remember If a person can afford to buy a Mercedes and not a Suzuki the state will collect roughly 4 times the amount in tax on the Mercedes. We must not let politicians fly kites when they wish to distract us from real economic discussions.

    Actually if our collection systems were working duties should actually drop not increase! With a larger portion of the public paying their share the net cost to each Barbadian of running the country would in fact fall. Of course that is assuming the collection agencies functioned properly.

    • @John A

      We can disagree. The management and incidence of the taxes can be questioned, however, it does not address the core issues, why are imports of oil and food so blasted high? The answer, we do not produce one france in any significant value in Barbados.

  23. @John A
    Let’s now turn to the airport where the big black duffle bags sail through customs stuffed with clothes from Miami and New York, what you doing about them?
    Wuh you got against de poor black man? To besides dese fellas pay duties just because it doesn’t reach de Comptroller of Customs doesn’t mean dey don’t pay.

    Last time I was in Bim I met an old acquaintance who told me he was “retired” from the business but I can introduce you to another who still dabbles on the side.

  24. @ Vincent Codrington November 18, 2021 10:54 AM
    You and I know where the Foreign Exchange leakages and wastage are. (Unquote)

    So why borrow money to finance those kinds of wasteful behaviours?

    Why burden future generations will millstones of debt from which they will not be receiving any benefits like education or health services?

    Let those conspicuous consumption habits be financed through dint of hard work and forex earnings; not borrowings from the IMF.

    In keeping with your biblical instruction, why can’t the Bajan people earn their way in this world in order to live conspicuously.

    The only source of forex leakage and wastage the miller can think of is the illegal marijuana drug trade.

    So why not decriminalize the local production of the vegetable matter to save forex?

    You might have in mind the millions spent by Bajans travelling overseas on holidays and shopping sprees or the ‘inflated’ management fees remitted to the HQs of the many foreign-owned commercial entities in Barbados.

  25. The government had almost 3 years to deliver solutions in the form of export industries and reduce the import bill. All we have been getting is talk. For some reason the medical marijuana industry cannot get off the ground. The photovoltaic renewable energy plan. It is as though no one knows what is going one.
    I would have rolled out the marijuana industry so that everyone in Barbados who wishes to participate can.
    The government seems content to borrow money and tax the citizens but none of these are sustainable.

  26. @David, when you say that “… we do not produce one france in any significant value in Barbados” one imagines you are referring to products rather than services, yes!

    I think it’s a given that we will always be limited with the type of mass ‘widgets’ production or shoots of sugar (agriculture) … but of course we can gain competitive advantages with specialized services and some niche products.

    We have some apparent reknown with invitrio pregnancies so I have been told.

    And too folks have traveled to Bim for other medical procedures … again so I have been reliably informed.

    Small stuff I suspect at the GDP level … but undoubtedly still an area of potential forex growth and earnings!

    @Heather… u know that govts produce NOTHING but rather provide the framework for entrepreneurs to achieve the business success… that said to ask: what was your perceived special competitive advantage that Bdos had to set oursselves as a major medical Marijuana player???


  27. @ Sarge

    You too bad! Lol

    How come all of we know this but not Minister Straughn? Wait I forget elections is only 2 years off.😆

    • @Vincent

      Recall chatting years ago with thr late Anthony Johnson, he was unsure about the benefits in real terms of that line of business.

  28. “what was your perceived special competitive advantage that Bdos had to set oursselves as a major medical Marijuana player???”

    Home Grown for the local market is the way to go
    Barbados has got plenty sunshine

  29. Duplicate message
    Tax should be on Income not Imports
    45% tax + 17.5% Vat for a new car is a Scam for something Government did not make and is very third world gangsterish

    Forward With Jah Orthodox, Mystic I, Orthodox Dub, The Upsetters

  30. @ Dirt Farmer November 18, 2021 11:40 AM

    I am thinking here of a free trade zone without taxes for vaccinated people. They are allowed to buy cars and luxury goods there without duties and taxes. The unvaccinated, on the other hand, should just go ahead and pay the high import duties.

    @ all

    Our government has obviously realised that it must devalue the totally worthless Barrow dollar even further internally, i.e. through higher tariffs, in order to maintain the illusion of an independent national state.

    It would be far better to finally abandon the 1:2 dollar peg and lower it to 1:4 or 1:5 for the time being. That roughly corresponds to the local productivity of the population.

  31. @ Vincent Codrington
    No person in my republic will starve, I will restart a Mottley program, you will get one daily meal in Queens park

  32. “Let’s now turn to the airport where the big black duffle bags sail through customs stuffed with clothes from Miami and New York, what you doing about them?”


    Get your “A” from beneath de ROCK cockle!!!

    Barbados 🇧🇧 Customs Authority destroyed that avenue many years ago. Duffle bag hawkers pay duties via brokers yesterday and today.

    Customs waiting fah yuh ass!!!
    COME home.

    Degrading poor black bajans

    Thousands of bajans can’t afford to shop on Broadstreet like you.

    De fruit cakes already out for Xmas. Who calling ????

  33. I love this 🤫

    “@ Vincent Codrington
    No person in my republic will starve, I will restart a Mottley program, you will get one daily meal in Queens park”


    We will open up with John’s Coucou n Red Herrings. I ate many oh dem. Nah shame n me game boo. I can adapt on de Penny/dime.

    I don’t walk around (puffed up and Constipated ).

  34. Say whattttt

    “What sort of crap is that? Look fix the dam strainer you got for tax collection system then come talk to us for God sake Do!”


    John “A” You got one and many Bajans have them too. However, Females have de real McCoy…

    It ain’t foot n mouth Dear..


  35. @ Dirt

    You continue living in LA La land if you think so.

    No one coming in on a flight can put in a customs warrant on arrival for that flight and have it assessed so as to leave the airport with the big duffle bags as you claim. Secondly no warrant can be filed with customs without a rotation number and that Is not obtained till the flight lands. Now for the last hole in your argument, the customs department’s valuation officers work Monday to Friday only and from 8 to 4.30pm. They do not work weekends so there is no way a flight arriving on a Saturday or Sunday night could even make a customs entry before Monday morning. Bear in mind also that the importer has to provide supplier invoices with the carriers airway bill to customs before an entry can be made. Also let’s not forget customs refused to allow cameras to be placed in the declaration area of the airport. So when you see people arriving on a flight from Miami or New York and coming through customs with 5 large duffle bags, it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to have given a broker the clearance to do. Hope this leaves you a little more educated on how things ACTUALLY do work in the real world and not in LA LA LAND where you seem to dwell.

  36. Also don’t bother trying to reply as you clearly are out of your debt here. Stick to what you know about what ever that may be. LOL

  37. @ de “A”

    Reference to suitcase venders and their processes., you’re still under de rock.

    We are awaiting your arrival dearest!!!!

  38. Piss poor policies that break the backs of the people
    Time bajans wake up to the realities that nobody cares
    Time they start sending harsh messages to govt

  39. “A”

    You are highlighting privileges of 20 years yesterday. Those duffel-bag folks are small importers and legally recognized as such by broker houses and BDS Customs Authority.

    Any passenger coming through our airport with commercial product must have a license and fe appropriate invoices.

    What you maliciously saw was people personal affects.

    Suitcase/duffel bag hawkers/venders gone LEGAL!!!!

    Stop peeping into others bags.😡

  40. @Hants
    Has been going on for years. The transfer tax on any house (vs condo, though many of them also sell at $1M+) is $35K+ [+/-35K per million] Plus agents and lawyers getting their slice. The City of Toronto (vs the GTA as Toronto has a city surcharge on what is otherwise a provincial tax) earns a small fortune on property transfer fees. They care less about “source of funds” than that the funds keep coming. With the constant advance in prices, it has been one of the better places to ‘store money’, you get a solid return. It is this return, and the market fluidity, which continually attracts the money. Whether being laundered or not. And why dodging the tax hasn’t yet become popular. The only surprising thing, is surrounding areas in the Greater Toronto area haven’t yet adopted this surcharge.
    So essentially they talk freely from both sides of their mouth. One being housing affordability and supply, the other being how the city actually earns its revenue. Lower levels of government (city, municipality, township etc) cannot run deficits.

  41. @NO
    The only surprising thing, is surrounding areas in the Greater Toronto area haven’t yet adopted this surcharge.
    The residents of Toronto pay much less property taxes than other areas of the GTA so perhaps things are evening out. If other areas of the GTA adopt that surcharge there will be a tax revolt. I am an empty nester and thinking of downsizing, I’ll get a good price for the property but there is a catch as the bungalow to replace it will be costly.

  42. @Sarge
    Toronto historically have paid less property tax RELATIVE to market value. What you are also observing is gentrification, and why to put ‘money in your pocket’ you may have to move ‘out of area’, not only ‘out of size’. While the lower capital outlay may be pleasing, you maybe shocked to discover the property taxes beyond the GTA are not that much lower, if at all.
    You can always go to an unorganized area…lol
    The surcharge only applies to the property TRANSFER tax, not property tax itself. GTA property values have increased so fast, there will be ‘bitching’ but not a revolt, as they would occur area by area, and the provincial portion already exists.
    Down East when they lost their timber mill and mines, they doubled property tax for any non-primary residence. Florida does it for ‘out of state’ owners. (one reason retirees MOVE to Florida). They tend to be very ‘collectable’ taxes as they can grab unpaid at the time of any title change.

  43. @ Dirt

    For God sake stop talking nonesence do! Import licenses are NOT required for all imported goods first of all. Secondly you can not clear a shipment without a rotation number and airway bill. That is what is required not a license. Finally these documents can not be submitted to customs until the following day after which the importer must wait for the assessment form from customs to go and pay the duty at customs. Now only when the duty is paid is a release issued by customs, which depending on the colour tells you if you can clear it or have it opened and valued by the assessing officer. That sir is what goes on daily and that I can tell you for a fact. What you clearly have been told by someone is therefore fiction. And yes the duffle bag trade is still blazing a trail. If you doubt me go up there on a Saturday or Sunday for the miami and new York flights and watch the big open back pickups loading up. Truth is this matter has been drawn to the attention of customs along with the barrel traders several times by the chamber of commerce to no avail. You know when I say a duffle bag what I mean though? Not them small ones you see cricketers with on a Saturday. I talking about the black commercial bags which are around 5 feet long and the circumference of a Barrel. So you telling me a traveller got 5 of them as personal items bringing back when the limit now is I suitcase not exceeding 20 kgs?

    Send me what you smoking it like it dam strong. Lol

    Anyhow you may have the last say as we definitely must live in 2 different countries so I will let you spread the fiction. As the young people say carry on smartly.

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