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A Voluntary Tax?

Governor Planning to Repitch US$10 Heritage Tax as a ‘Donation'

(12/28/2013) Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika says his plans to introduce a US$10 heritage tax on every foreign visitor starting in 2014 is being delayed by
legal complications.

Governor Pastika quoted by the State News Agency Antara said, “There’s a legal problem there, so the (the heritage tax) cannot be put into effect.”

The governor’s comments were made at the end of the December monthly town hall meeting held on Saturday, December 28, 2013.

Pastika said a legal conflict exists, as the current framework of the law does not allow the province to impose additional taxes.

“A tax is not allowed. But if it is termed a donation that would be voluntary and the amount requested (for donation) is not stipulated,” explained Pastika.

Because of the limitations on new taxes, the governor’s office is undertaking corrections in the proposed “heritage contribution” so it does not create legal complications.

The intention of the governor is to use the amount donated to protect cultural objects and also provide insurance coverage for tourist visitors who fall sick, have an accident or die while on a Bali holiday.

“This means that not all the money collected will go to the government, while another portion goes to people who have accidents, are sick or die. When tourists dies we now have problems returning the remains,” the governor explained.

The governor admitted that most tourists have insurance, but that coverage sometimes does not extend beyond the borders of their home country. When illness and accidents take place the money collected from the proposed donations would be use to assist international visitors.

Governor Pastika defended his idea of a heritage donation, saying such schemes are already in operation in other countries.

The governor said it was not possible to secure a portion of the US$25 visa-on-arrival fee charged most foreign visitors because that would require a change in the current law.

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