by By Hunter R. Slaton | October 07, 2009

Last week the Jamaican government announced it would increase its departure tax from $1,000 Jamaican dollars (US$11.45) to JMD $1,800 (US$20.62) as part of "a minimal tax package." In a statement, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said the departure tax increase, along with a 20 to 25 percent tax increase on telephone cards and calls, were made because they are the easiest to apply and collect. The government hopes the taxes will help finance a $1.7 billion gap in the country's 2009/2010 budget. The increase took effect Oct. 1, although airline tickets purchased prior to Oct. 1 will remain exempt.