Belize Fiscal Study

Dec 2002
This paper is a review of the fiscal system of Belize. The emphasis of the study is on the revenue system in terms of its design, administration and its effectiveness in revenue mobilization. Belize is facing a critical public sector deficit situation, but its revenue system, although somewhat unconventional, is performing remarkably well. This study has reviewed each of the components of the revenue system to determine what improvements could be made in order to both enhance the economic characteristics of each of the taxes as well as to increase its revenue raising effectiveness. A major challenge facing the fiscal system of Belize in the future will be the necessity to reduce its reliance on the use of import tariffs to collect tax revenues. This will be forced on it through its membership in Caricom and its bilateral and multilateral negotiations of other free trade arrangements. The following is a summary of the principal recommendations of this review along with an estimate of the revenue impact of the proposed changes.