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McDonald re-elected JCC president, vows to highlight tax evasion

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Warren McDonald, newly returned president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, addresses the organisation's annual general meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston. and Vice-President Cathrine Kennedy is in the background.

Chartered accountant Warren McDonald has been returned as president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), and he has vowed to remain focused on tax evasion among local businesses.

Warren sees the issue as one that "contributes to corruption and stifles economic growth and development".

"Thousands of businesses are unregistered and are non-compliant in contributing to the tax coffers, resulting in legitimate businesses ... constantly being squeezed for more and more taxes," McDonald told the chamber's annual general meeting on Tuesday.

'Only-cash' transactions

He further singled out businesses that operate on the basis of 'only-cash' transactions "that are described by some as being endemic in certain areas of the downtown district".

"These practices are not unique to that area; it takes places all across the country ... and any sustained effort to solve the problem must acknowledge its pervasiveness," the chamber president said.

Going forward, McDonald said the JCC will continue to the push for businesses to fulfil their lawful obligations even as it encourages the authorities to broaden the tax net "to ensure that all are paying their fare share".

Other members of the chamber executive elected alongside him on Tuesday included Michael McMorris as first vice-president, Cathrine Kennedy as second VP, Lloyd Distant as third vice-president, and Paul B. Scott as fourth vice-president.

Wilbert Spence was elected treasurer, and Jason Younis, Keisha Cardoza, Lazarus Bucknor; Laurence Heffes and Dan Theoc as directors.