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New VAT scheme for St. Kitts hotels, goods and services

Nevis and St. Kitts will be following in the footsteps of other Caribbean nations by introducing a new 17 percent sales tax and a 10 percent tax for Nevis and St. Kitts hotels to boost revenue as tourism overtakes sugar as the main income for the island.

New VAT scheme for St. Kitts hotels, goods and services

The island nation of St Kitts and Nevis is planning on joining other Caribbean holiday destinations by introducing a 17 percent sales tax and a 10 percent tax on St. Kitts and Nevis hotels to boost the island's revenue.

The islands are like many other Caribbean islands which now depend heavily on tourism rather than sugar as their main income. The islands have been hit hard by the global economic crisis and the new tax scheme will start in November in an attempt to boost revenues.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas announced the plans for the tax scheme and said that the value-added-tax (VAT) will not fall disproportionally on the people "for whom we established all of the social services that have been essential to our people's upward mobility."

Bus transportation, locally grown produce, milk, baby formula, some medications, and some other goods and services will be exempt from the tax. Under the current ruling Labour party, owners of small businesses with an annual income under $56,000 will also be exempt from the sales tax.

Lindsay Grant, the chief of the opposition People's Action Movement, has stated that sales taxes on specific food items could "cause an unacceptable increase to the cost of living for Kittitians and Nevisians."

Situated in the West Indies, the two island nation is a popular destination with travellers from all over the world. The island of St. Kitts is home to a dormant volcano, tropical forests and pristine beaches; perfect for travellers looking for relaxing St. Kitts holidays.
Travellers can stay at colonial-style St. Kitts hotels where one of the island's laws is that no building can be built higher than its surrounding palm trees.

The islands were both famous for their sugar cane plantations once, but over the years tourism has taken its place and become the main revenue.

Travellers can enjoy a wide range of activities including hiking, snorkelling, diving, fishing and golf before heading back to their St. Kitts and Nevis hotels where they can relax within a warm hospitable environment.

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