I would like to remind both GOB and the BCCI that reduced salaries means reduced purchasing power, which will in no small way affect the economy.
I believe Central Government is still the largest single employer, and the fallout from that could be exacerbated by the wrong signal being sent to the municipal bodies and, heaven forbid, the private sector!
Regarding tax revenue, old practice says only properties in cities and towns are reassessed and taxed based on an improved valuation. Meanwhile, there are homes and condos in villages and outlying communities valued in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, in US dollars (picture the Placencia Peninsula). They sit on lots taxed at unimproved rates, as low as BZE$10 per year for the average-sized lot (an acre or less)! I suspect it’s a similar story for resorts and hotels.
Insult added to injury, “low taxes” is the catch phrase in advertisements that invite foreigners to purchase real estate in Belize. These properties turn millions of dollars in profits from resale and rental income, most of which never reach our shores or are repatriated.
Fair is fair. I am confident the Briceño government has the political will to enact legislation to rectify this situation, and to draft the legislation in a manner that ensures that taxes will remain affordable for all concerned. GOB can ill afford to let this practice continue. The country desperately needs the revenue.
An afterthought: Ministers taking a 10% salary cut doesn’t “cut it” as far as making public servants’ cuts an easier pill to swallow – unless it’s their only source of income!