17 February, 2010
The new administration has got to raise revenue and reduce costs. I figure they need all the help they can get. I make the following suggestions for increasing revenue starting with the most obvious and least controversial.
'Sin taxes' always receive public approval and approbation. No one would object to increasing the duties on tobacco and alcohol. Anguillians consume far too much alcohol, anyway. It would be a significant health measure just to triple the duty on spirits, wines and beer. Tobacco is hardly a problem in Anguilla. Increased excise duty will make it even less so. And, don't forget lapdancing salons, cockpits, and dogfight rings. No more turning a blind eye to the main chance to maximise revenue!
Collect property tax from the thousands of householders who have refused to pay it. Do not forget the fines associated with late payment. There is no need to prosecute everyone, an example of one or two prominent citizens should result in a flood of homeowners rushing to pay up. Perhaps, the Hon Mr Hubert Hughes can volunteer to be the guinea pig? That would be a real show of leadership.
Disconnect the thousands of illegal water connections and prosecute the offenders for having stolen water. I do not approve of my tax dollars going to subsidise certain well-known North Valley and South Valley business men using the public water for free.
Enforce the accommodation tax laws. Visitors to Anguilla pay the bed tax, and certain well-known local and foreign hotels have failed ever, and I mean ever, to pay the public revenue collected by them on behalf of the public into the Treasury. This is a form of licensed stealing, so long as Government continues to condone it. If I were a law abiding hotelier, dutifully paying my bed tax into the Treasury every month, I would be particularly offended.
And, please, don't tell me any stupidness about not wanting to “criminalise” poor Anguillians. These not-so-poor Anguillians have done it to themselves, no one is doing it to them.
Remember, the new broom sweeps cleanest!