Conditions for Improving the Property Tax in the Bahamas: Final Report
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas has translated sound economic management, political stability and close proximity to the world’s largest consumer market into steady growth and high levels of per capita income. Real annual economic growth has averaged about 1.3% over the past two decades with a strong growth spurt of 4.6% during 1993-99. Per capita income is currently about B$21,500 and over $25,000 in purchasing power parity terms, which makes it the highest amongst the Caribbean economies.
Despite achieving growth and high levels of per capita income, the Government of the Bahamas (GoB) faces fiscal challenges to contain public debt while sustaining public services to support growth and development. These fiscal challenges are arising from (1) the negative impact of the 2008-09 recession on revenues combined with increased stimulus expenditures, (2) a narrow and volatile tax base combined with a need to modernize and strengthen its revenue administration and (3) policy objective of joining WTO has implications for reducing import duty rates and for non-discrimination in tax policy
This report addresses options for improving the fiscal balance in the short and medium terms with a particular focus on the reform of the property tax system and its potential revenue contribution. The report (1) presents an overview and performance of the revenue base of the Bahamas exploring the nature and seriousness of the emerging public debt build up; (2) analyzes the existing tax structures and reforms presenting policy and administrative recommendations for improving revenue yield; (3) analyzes property tax policies and administration to identify recommendations for improving property tax revenue yield, equity and efficiency in the Bahamas.
Kelly, R; Glenday, G; Forde, W
- Conditions for Improving the Property Tax in the Bahamas: Final Report