Over the last decade, Aruba has faced three recessions resulting in a public debt of approximately 90 percent of GDP. Its current budget deficit needs to be reduced and Aruba should close a fiscal gap of 1.5-2 percent of GDP over the next two to three years to return to a sustainable path. Earlier this year, the authorities have introduced a crisis package, mainly by increasing the turnover taxes. This temporary tax measure should be replaced by a tax reform that will modernize and simplify the current system.
The new tax system should not only raise more revenue, but also shift the tax burden away from income and profits toward consumption. The current system is not well equipped to make these changes. In replacing the crisis levy, the Government sees an opportunity to streamline the current tax system, modernize it, and make it more sustainable for the future needs of Aruba.
The safeguards policy aims to mitigate the potential risks of misuse of resources, including Fund resources, and misreporting of program monetary data. The policy, introduced in 2000, is an integral part of the Fund’s financing policies and complements other safeguards, such as program design, conditionality, and access limits. Safeguards assessments of central banks of the borrowing member are required for almost all forms of Fund financing, and are followed by a period of monitoring for as long as Fund credit is outstanding.
This paper focuses on tax reforms for increased buoyancy in The Bahamas. The Bahamas has a low tax effort owing to limited tax handles and underutilization of available ones. Real property tax collections as percent of GDP have doubled within a decade. In addition to the real property taxes, a graduated stamp duty on the conveyance of immovable property is imposed at fairly steep rates. As a requirement to World Trade Organization membership, the tariff rates will be lowered from their current levels. It is expected that revenue losses from tariff reduction will be compensated by value-added tax revenues.
International Financial Statistics provides a complete library of continuously updated international statistics on all aspects of international and domestic finance. The monthly print edition contains over 1,000 pages of statistical data in each issue. It reports, for most countries of the world, current data needed in the analysis of problems of international payments and of inflation and deflation, i.e., data on exchange rates, international liquidity, money and banking, interest rates, prices, production, international transactions, government accounts, and national accounts. Information is presented in country tables and in tables of area and world aggregates.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
“In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, a coordinated international response is needed to deal with weaknesses in the world economy and the new risks in the outlook,” IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler said in a statement issued on October 5. He added that “the IMF, its 183 member countries, and the international community more generally will need to respond with sound policies to reduce the likelihood of a sustained slowdown and make sure we are ready to deal with a deeper and longer downturn if it does emerge—thereby limiting the disruption and attendant human costs.” Excerpts from Köhler’s statement follow.