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Caribbean-On-Line / St. Barts / Local Stuff / What Changes Will St Barth's New Status Bring?

What Changes Will St Barth's New Status Bring?

Just recently the French Parliament voted to declare St Barth an Overseas Collectivity rather than being considered a town of Guadeloupe and, hence, under the administrative control of Guadeloupe. For weeks, the island has been abuzz with talk about what changes this new political status will bring to residents and non-residents, especially as concerns taxes. St Barth has been given broad fiscal and legislative control over many areas, including:

  • regulation of prices
  • zoning, construction and management of public property
  • roads, transportation, maritime affairs, and management of sea ports
  • environmental issues
  • employment regulations regarding foreign employees
  • tourism
  • management of schools and school transportation
  • postal organization and setting of rates
  • local taxes and duties

Taxes on gas and alcohol, property taxes, income taxes and a wealth tax are all under review. The Port Duty will be increased from 4% to 5%, and a Tourist Tax of 5% has already been approved. No details are yet available on exactly how this Tourist Tax will be applied. Lodging is an obvious target, but will there also be a departure tax? To prevent St Barth from becoming a tax haven, those who have resided here for more than five years will be considered as having their "tax home" on St Barth. There is talk that non-residents will be subject to French taxation: that they will need to file income tax returns, pay income taxes and, possibly, pay a wealth tax. The Tax Treaty is currently in draft form and many changes could occur before its final form is released.

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