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Sep 14, 2005

P.M. gives some relief to free zone merchants

They were blindsided with a massive tax increase on liquor and cigarettes, but merchants in the Corozal free zone decided to take their case to the Prime Minister. Apparently their arguments found some sympathy as sources indicate that a decision has been made to roll back the ten percent levy to a still high, but more bearable six percent. Previously all goods entering the zone paid a one and a half percent “social fee”. But on September first the one and a half percent was upped to ten for alcohol and tobacco. The merchants had sought a compromise of two and a half or three percent on all goods, but in the end settled for the six percent tax on liquor and cigarettes. All other imports remain at one and a half percent except fuel, which retains its traditional ten percent levy. The rollback, which will be accomplished through a new statutory instrument, takes effect on September fifteenth.

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