14 Jul 2003

Marshall Islands Government money problems stem from failure to collect taxes aggressively

5:00 pm on 14 July 2003

The latest quarterly bulletin from the Marshall Islands Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office shows that the government's revenues for the first three quarters of 2003 are nearly 30 per cent lower compared to the same figure a year ago.

Our correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson, says one of the main reasons for the figure is the lack of an aggresive revenue collection policy......

"there is a large percentage of businesses that do pay taxes, but there are many newer businesses that don't and there really isn't a very aggressive tax collection system...... the government Ministry of Finance basically waits for people to walk in with their tax returns and if they don't, for instance, in the last couple of years there hasn't been anything filed against non complying tax payers"

Giff Johnson says with two weeks still to go before the end of the month, the figures will show some improvement