Guest tax increase now official
29 Apr, 2010, 14:48 (GMT -04:00)
Email dit artikel
Print dit artikel
ORANJESTAD — With a vote of eleven to six, the law to increase the guest tax was approved by the parliament yesterday. That means the guest tax will increase with 1.5 percent per May 1st.
On reflection, the additional 2 percent-increase will not be introduced per July 1st, as originally planned by the government. The government thinks it is better to wait with the second phase of the increase until after the budgetary funds ATMF and TPEF (the Aruba Tourism Marketing Fund and the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund) have been established. A date for this establishment has not been fixed yet. Hotels are currently paying only 6 percent guest tax. That will become 7.5 percent per May 1st, and eventually 9.5 percent.
The MEP-party had voted against the increase. During the discussion of the enactment in the States, the opposition party had criticized amongst others the absence of a feasibility study. In addition, they stated they found it impossible to place the increase in a financial framework, as the parliament has not discussed the annual tourism budget yet. State-member Mervin Wyatt-Ras further states: “The government is also not considering the parliamentary budget right or the comments from the Advisory Council”. Wyatt-Ras warns for the impact of the increase on tourism. “Aruba is already expensive for tourists. It could also have an impact on the employment.”
In their counter-argument, the government stated one had seriously considered the increase, followed by extensive consultation with social partners, such as hotel association Ahata and the association for timeshare hotels ATSA, who had both agreed with the plans in writing. Regarding Aruba’s competition position, the government states the guest taxes are much higher on most of the other Caribbean islands. According to the cabinet, “With a good product, Aruba could be very successful”.
THIS WAS FROM AMIGOE.COM