Archive for March, 2010

Belize Budget to prevent tax receipts from falling

Monday, March 29th, 2010

The government of Belize has presented its 2010 budget with measures aimed to counteract the fall in tax revenues that have been experienced during 2009-2010.

During the fiscal year 2009-2010, revenues have been estimated to be 11.2% below budget at USD 305 million. It should be noted that tax collections were lower in all jurisdiction’s major tax sources. Receipts from direct taxes were more resilient in the face of the economic downturn, while indirect taxes were severely hit. The largest decline of 19.3% was seen in General Sales Tax receipts suffered.

Revenue measures introduced in the budget, worth USD 59.3 million, will mean that the government of Belize posts a smaller budget deficit in the fiscal year 2010-2011.

The budget measures include the following:
– an increase the rate of the General Sales Tax from 10.0% to 12.5 % – projected to yield an additional BZD 42 million;
– an increase to the business tax rate for the supply of electricity services, from 1.75% to 6.5%, increasing the tax take from the sector by BZD 10 million;
– the introduction of an excise tax on locally produced crude oil at a rate of BZD 1 per barrel, yielding BZD 1.8 million;
– the introduction of a ‘Social Fee’ of 5% on goods and services imported in an Export Processing Zone, yielding a further BZD 3.5 million;
– a crackdown on outstanding tax arrears, particularly land tax, which will bring in around BZD 4.2 million.

Also, the government has introduced tax concessions:
– increasing the tax exemption threshold for personal income tax to BZD 24 000 (which is USD 12 300), up from BZD 19 600;
– the removal of import duty on a number of goods including basic food items, powdered laundry detergents, agricultural equipment and machinery including tractor parts, agricultural packaging materials, and basic school supplies.

Receipts from local petroleum operations are expected to rise by BZD 8.8 million from increased profits in the sector, and from petroleum royalties.

Belize Cabinet holds meeting

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

On March 9, 2010, Belize Cabinet met in regular session to conclude its discussion of the budget for FY2010-2011.

The Budget will be presented by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean O. Barrow, in the House of Representatives on March 15.

On March 25-26, the budget debate will take place.

The next regular meeting of the Cabinet is scheduled for March 16.

Belize encourages competitiveness in tourism

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

A workshop entitled “Promoting Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector on Tourist Accommodation and Vehicle Rentals” is being hosted by the Belize Bureau of Standards.

The event consists of 2 sessions. The objectives of the all-day workshop are the following:

1. Promoting awareness of the relevant standards under development and how these can improve the competitiveness of businesses. The specific standards are Specification for Tourist Accommodation and Specification for Vehicle Rentals.

2. Improving knowledge of the standards development process and the role of SME’s in the development of standards and technical regulations.

3. Providing the opportunity to contribute to the development of the standards under discussion.

The event is held in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Inter-American Development Bank Multilateral International Fund (MIF) Project.