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JHTA writes to Phillips over alcohol tax changes

Published:Wednesday | April 23, 2014 | 2:03 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has written to the Finance Minster, Dr Peter Phillips, expressing concern about the removal of the special tax rate on alcohol for tourism entities.




Last Thursday, the Finance Minister announced that the concessionary rate would be removed and one specific special consumption tax on all alcoholic beverages implemented.



Before yesterday, when the new measures took effect, tourism entities were paying $700 per litre of pure alcohol.



Other entities paid a duty of $1,120 per litre of pure alcohol for beers and stouts, with a rate of $960 per on non-beer and stout alcoholic beverages.



But with the changes in the duty, the rate on all alcoholic beverages is now at $1,120 per litre.



In a letter to Dr, Phillip sent on Monday, JHTA president Evelyn Smith said the increase will be onerous for tourism stakeholders.



Yesterday, the Opposition Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw warned that the unification of all taxes on all alcoholic beverages could harm the tourism sector and the local white rum production market.



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