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Thursday, July 5, 2012
Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) recommends to the Government that it reduce Stamp Duty on property deals by 2 percentage points “across the board” ...taking the rates back to where they were before the 2010-2011 Budget
Realtors Recommend Stamp Duty Cuts 'Across The Board'
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) has recommended to the
Government that it reduce Stamp Duty on property deals by 2 percentage
points “across the board”, taking the rates back to where they were
before the 2010-2011 Budget.
Wilson, BREA’s president, confirmed in a recent interview with Tribune
Business that the Association had recommended to the Christie
administration that it look beyond the cut in the top Stamp Duty rate,
from 12 per cent to 10 per cent, which it brought in with the 2012-2013
one of the things we recommended, yes,” Mr Wilson said, when asked by
Tribune Business whether BREA had recommended that all Stamp Duty rates
be reduced by two percentage points.
of the things we did invite the Government to consider was reducing
that across the board, as what it would do for the $250,000-plus
category it would do for all others as well.
grateful that at least one group will see a benefit, but that same
excitement that group over $250,000 has would be shared locally with
Mr Wilson said BREA and its members welcomed “anything to reduce the
cost of home ownership” and stimulate activity in the market.
Duty is effectively a one-time cost imposed on real estate
transactions, and Mr Wilson said the cut in the top rate would boost
activity in middle class Bahamian communities such as Twynam Heights.
revised Stamp Duty structure involves a 4 per cent rate on property
valued at $20,000 or less; 6 per cent for property valued between
$20,000 and $50,000; 8 per cent for property valued at between $50,001
and $100,000; and 10 per cent for holdings greater than $100,000.
Lightbourn, head of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty, said that any
Stamp Duty reduction was welcome, but the real estate industry needed to
remember that the Government had to raise revenues somewhere.
that the Government had given up much in Stamp Duty with the exemptions
for first-time buyers on properties worth up to $500,000, Mr Lightbourn
added: “The less taxes the better, but that’s one of the sources of
revenue. Any time you don’t have to pay Stamp Duty, it all helps.”
Wong, head of William Wong & Associates, said the Government should
follow BREA’s recommendation and reduce Stamp Duty rates across all
“I’m hoping they will take a look at it and make the necessary changes,” Mr Wong said.