Opposition Leader and Shadow Finance Minister Jeane Atherden is among the members of the Tax Reform Commission. The newly formed Commission was unveiled today by Premier David Burt, who reminded the public that he was fulfilling a commitment made when his party was in Opposition.
These commissioners have a mammoth task ahead of them, but I am confident that they are up to the challenge. As promised, this commission has representation from both political parties and a cross section of expertise in Bermuda’s economy,” Premier Burt said.
Ms Atherden spoke to us following today’s press conference.
The Commission’s remit is to advise the government on a tax and revenue collection system that is “equitable, effective, efficient, competitive and transparent,” according to the Tax Commission Act which set up the body.
It has six months to produce a report.
Chairing the Commission is Ronald Simmons, a partner at accounting firm Moore Stephens & Butterfield, and a former director of the Bermuda Monetary Authority and member of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Bermuda.
Premier Burt said of Mr Simmons:
His roles as Chairman of the Public Funds Investment Committee, Chairman of the Telecommunications Commission, Member of the Audit Committee of the Bermuda Government and Chairman of the Bermuda Housing Trust gives him a unique insight into government and public finance.
Other members are:
- Donald Scott, former Secretary to the Cabinet, Head of the Civil Service and Financial Secretary, and Trustee of the Bermuda Public Services Union
- Mr. Mitch Blaser, COO of Ironshore Inc. and CEO of Ironshore Bermuda.
- Mr. Craig Simmons; Economics Lecturer at the Bermuda College
- Mr. Brian Holdipp, Senior Corporate Lawyer at MJM Limited
Bermuda’s tax system was reviewed as recently as 2015 by the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre. Made public by the current government, CARTAC recommended changes to payroll taxes, simplifying land taxes, ending concessions for retailers and hospitality and introducing sales and services taxes.
CARTAC’s mandate was restricted, ruling out considerations of introducing income tax or value added tax. With the Tax Reform Commission’s broader mandate, those options are back on the table.
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