Age Concern: Seniors against new rental tax
Hundreds of people have registered opposition to a rental tax after a seniors organisation called on its members to air their views.
Age Concern Bermuda asked it members for their views on the suggestion, included in a pre-Budget report from the Ministry of Finance.
The charity said tonight: “Eighty-four per cent of respondents were not in favour of a rental tax and of those, 94 per cent expressed that seniors should be exempted from a rental tax, should it be imposed.”
Linda Smith, its chairwoman, Charles Jeffers, the deputy chairman, and Claudette Fleming, the executive director, met Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister and Wayne Furbert, the junior finance minister yesterday to talk about proposals for new taxes.
Ms Smith said after the meeting: “Our presentation was based on documented concerns received by a recent survey, feedback from our members and dialogue with local businesses that support our members and our organisation.”
Mr Jeffers added: “Mr Dickinson and his team listened earnestly and we believe that our input was well received.”
Mr Dickinson told a public meeting last week that no final decision had been made on a rental tax, which was included in recommendations from the Tax Reform Commission.
He said a need to increase Government income had to be balanced against extra burdens on people who were already struggling.
The rent tax, as proposed in the TRC report, would introduce a five per cent levy on rental income from properties with an annual rental value above $22,000.
It would also apply to property owners if they own multiple properties with a combined ARV of more than $90,000, even if the ARV of the individual properties is below the $22,000 threshold.
The TRC predicted the tax would generate about $41 million a year.
But Mr Dickinson has signalled that, if the tax is introduced, the thresholds would be higher than those suggested by the TRC.