Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace. (IWN file photo)
Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace. (IWN file photo)

Opposition Arnhim Eustace has raised question about the sale of tiles and furniture by Harlequin, the company that owns Buccament Bay Resort.

The company has confirmed that it is selling tiles and furniture, but says the furniture is damaged and unsuitable for use at the resort.

It has further confirmed that the items were imported duty free.

Speaking on his weekly radio programme on Monday, Eustace said that he agrees the resort should receive certain tax concessions.

But he said that the sale of tiles and furniture to the public raises questions, specifically whether the resort will now pay the government taxes on the items.

“So, I am asking the question, have they paid back the duty on these items they are now proposing to sell? Or has there been an arrangement with the Customs for the taxpayers, to get the money, or for the government to get the taxes?”

Eustace said the public should know what is the arrangement.

“So, I want to know, are you (the Government) getting back the VAT and import duty on these items?”

Using an illustration, Eustace said that if one imports a chair that cost $100, a private citizen would have to pay $20 duty, and 15 per cent VAT on the $120 – a total of $138.

However, when one gets duty free concession, they would not have to pay the $38 in duty and VAT.

“If you are going to sell them, you must pay back the duty and you must pay back the VAT to the Government,” he said.

“I want to know what is the arrangement in the case of Buccama, so that the public who may go down there to buy these things will know what is happening.

“Is the customer going to be required to pay back the duty, or the company? What is the arrangement? How is government going to get back its import duty and the VAT?

“… People can’t just go down there blindly and just buy. They must know that this country, that this Ministry of Finance, this Customs Department gets back the money that it waives, before you can sell.”

Eustace said that one of the problems in such a situation is that the resort would be able to sell furniture on which they didn’t pay duty cheaper than local businesses that are selling furniture.

“So, it will be unfair to the businesses who you made pay duty and consumption tax … and those persons are selling to the public too,” he said.

3 replies on “Opposition Leader raises questions as resort owners sell tiles and furniture”

  1. Is this resort a government or private owned resort? Why should a private resort have to notify the public? If the furniture is damaged what kind of duty you expect them to pay?

    1. Jason: Why do you need to show the world that you have a fundamental lack of common sense and understanding. You can reread the article or to even further simplify an easily understood concept, the basic point is that an article (whether damaged or not) was brought into the island duty and VAT free and is now being resold. Specifically, without the government recovering those taxes which were waived in the first place and which should be due once the article is no longer being employed for its intended purpose. Geez!!!

  2. Eric Williams. says:

    Mr. Eustace is correct on this point. In the US Virgin Islands, the Taxi drivers and certain individuals/business have tax concessions for importing product/ vehicles. Any duty free imported vehicle that is being sold must first settle the tax debt or the buyer has to pay the taxes.

    Do not allow this unscrupulous act and rob the tax payers and treasury of needed funds.

Comments are closed.