Property boom makes tax office glow

PHUKET CITY: If taxes paid are any indication of economic health, then Phuket’s economy, in particular the property sector, is very healthy indeed.

Between October 1 last year and April 30 this year, the Phuket Area Revenue Office (PARO) collected 455.75 million baht in taxes from property businesses alone – an increase of 64.58% on the same six-month period a year earlier.

On Tuesday, PARO Chief Pensri Passakul explained at Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura’s monthly meeting with Provincial Office Chiefs that the increase in property taxes collected has been a boon for the government’s coffers.

“Our figures show that [in the first half] this [fiscal] year we have collected 2.73 billion baht, which is 27.16% more than we collected in the same period a year ago.

In the tax year from October 1, 2004, to September 30 last year, she said, taxes collected amounted to about 4 billion baht. “We believe that this year we will collect more than that,”she added.

“Tax collected in April this year totaled 476.3 million baht, a rise of 36.72% compared with April last year, when 348.39 million baht was collected,” K. Pensri said.

She explained that the rise in taxes collected from property businesses had resulted from an improved economy this year, with more transfers of land ownership, and the expansion of the property industry.

Gov Udomsak also attributed the boost in taxes collected to good work by the central government and the private sector in promoting Phuket as a tourist destination.

However, he criticized Thai Airways International (THAI) for not reintroducing direct international flights canceled after the tsunami.

“I have heard from travel agencies that forward bookings for next year are good, but I have to negotiate with THAI to have more direct flights to Phuket because there are people who want to come but there are no direct flights [for them],” the Governor said.

Phuket News

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