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IMF Calls For Land Tax Reforms In Haiti

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
18 September, 2015

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, which visited Haiti to review economic developments and hold discussions with the authorities on the 2015–16 budget, has highlighted the need for reforms to land taxation and leasing procedures to preserve fiscal stability.

Mission leader Mr. W. Christopher Walker said: "Despite electoral-year spending pressures, the central government budget has registered significant improvements. Revenues have risen more than 20 percent from last year, and are close to the program's target levels."

"Nevertheless, substantial risks to fiscal stability remain... Without reforms, there will be little possibility of limiting the large off-budget subsidies currently provided to the company, which would cast into doubt the achievement of program targets for the deficit of the non-financial public sector."

"While the precise contours of the 2015–16 central government budget remain to be settled, the authorities were confident that the final document would permit the achievement of a deficit of 2.3 percent of GDP at the level of the non-financial public sector. They presented the broad outlines of their planned 2015–16 fiscal policies, which include an emphasis on raising additional revenue through a range of measures, but mainly through reforms to land taxation and leasing procedures."

The IMF staff team expects to return to Haiti in November to hold discussions on the first review under Haiti's arrangement with the Fund under the Extended Credit Facility, adopted and approved in May of this year.

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