Bahamas PM unveils plan to adopt value-added tax to stabilize country's finances

NASSAU, Bahamas – The prime minister of the Bahamas has announced plans to introduce a value-added tax to help stabilize the finances of the Caribbean country.

Perry Christie says a 15 per cent tax will be levied on a range of goods and services starting in July 2014.

In a Monday budget report to the House, Christie also said that his administration plans to make public budget cuts but does not expect layoffs.

He is also pushing for reform of the property tax system in the archipelago off Florida’s east coast

The Bahamas receives most of its revenue from taxes on the tourism industry and by imposing tariffs on goods entering the country.

The nation’s debt burden has risen to roughly 53 per cent of the gross domestic product, up from 31 per cent in 2007.