Chamber Will Not Support A New 20% Retail Tax

Monday 27 November 12:23

The Jersey Chamber of Commerce cannot support the proposed 20% retail tax, as outlined in the 2018 Jersey Budget.

Throughout 2017, island businesses have faced a raft of additional tax burdens. Taxes disguised as user pay charges and levies, such as the Liquid and Solid Waste Charge, the Jersey Infrastructure Levy (JIL) and the increase in Licence Fees.

There can be no doubt that these charges are additional taxes on business.

The proposed new Retail Tax, as part of the 2018 Jersey Budget, is once again yet another example of further tax burdens being placed on businesses.

The Jersey Chamber of Commerce has always supported a tax regime, that is low, broad and fair, however, continued tinkering with the island’s tax system ultimately undermines these principles. While Jersey’s tax regime is based on the zero-ten structure, Chamber cannot support a new business tax that is set at 20%. A rate that clearly contravenes the existing arrangement, a rate that threatens future investment in training, premises, products and services. However, if States Members vote in favour of this budget proposal, Chamber could support a retail tax rate of 10%.

Vice-President of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Retail & Supply Committee, Mark Cox, said: “Government should not single out one sector of the economy for a tax that sits outside of the current zero-ten structure. It is important that commerce makes a fair contribution towards the island, however, there is much work to be done by government in creating a level playing field between on and off-island retailers.”

“If the Treasury Minister agreed to significantly reduce or scrap the unfair GST de minimus level, this would pave the way for capturing a considerable amount of additional tax revenue. Revenue that could be invested locally and stop the need for government to continually regard commerce as cash-cows that can plug infrastructure spending shortfalls.”

“An additional major concern for retailers is that this tax would be retrospectively charged, if it is approved for January 2018. Business will not have budgeted for the retail tax yet, however, they could be asked to pay for part of this year, depending on when their financial year ends.”

Members of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce want a government that is pro-business, a government that nurtures innovation and supports entrepreneurs. The constant erosion of the island’s tax regime threatens businesses, jobs and investment.  

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