Haiti's Diaspora Tax Law Sparks Outrage and anger.
Politics and Activism

Haiti's Diaspora Tax Law Sparks Outrage and anger.

The new Haitian tax law is counterproductive.

Haiti's Diaspora Tax Law Sparks Outrage and anger.
Banderas de los estados de Estados Unidos

In July 2017 the Haitian government voted a new tax law. That law requires all Haitian nationals living abroad to pay a yearly tax of 10,000.00 gourdes (159 U.S. dollars. Infuriated, Haitians everywhere in the diaspora revolted against it. They labeled this new taxation as nonsense, unfair and rather counterproductive.

A country that levies taxes on its own citizens living abroad is nothing new. It is a practice that goes back to the colonialism era. For example, in 1765 the English colonists who were living in the United States and Canada were required to pay taxes to the British monarchy. The English taxation caused a backlash that led to the American Revolution. Now after more than two and a half centuries, Haitians living abroad are contesting a new tax law that is specifically designed for those in the diaspora. Unlike America, the Haitian taxation will not result in a revolution, but it will, indeed, lead to a crippling effect on the country's economy.

The Haitian government's decision to impose a tax on Haitians living abroad could backfire. It is symbolic to a hungry person who cuts the hand that is feeding him. Let's say that Haitians in the diaspora organize a serious boycott of the country, meaning no wire transfer, no traveling, no export and no investment. Civil unrest would ensue; the entire country would be politically paralyzed and out of control. Lack of basic necessities would drive people to actions.

Dr. Lesly Kernisant who is threatening to organize a diaspora-wide boycott of Haiti — "No airlines and money transfers. We essentially will paralyze the country" — to teach the government a lesson, if it insists on enforcing the tax.

Meanwhile, Haitians who are living abroad play a major role in the Haitian economy. It is reported that Haitians abroad give their government $2 billion a year. Now the government wants more, oblivious of various contributions that Haitians in the diaspora have provided to it. For example, former President Michel Martelly imposed a $1.50-tax surcharge on every money transfer sent to Haiti. That fund was intended to open schools throughout the country; however, just some unfinished schools here and there, and those that are operational are disorganized and insolvent. Too bad!

Then, millions of wire transfers sent to Haiti every day means millions of dollars going to the Haitian treasury. It is a daily flow of cash in U.S. dollars circulating in the country. Traveling tax is also a big source of revenue to the country. By the way, Haiti is the only country in the Caribbean that collects $89.90 in taxes on every ticket purchased to its destination. Tariffs on imports are another issue Haiti is trying to set in compliance with CARICOM (The Caribbean Community and Common Market). Most of the time the resources and money contributed to the country, far from fulfilling their intended purposes, fill the pockets of corrupt government officials. With no checks and balances, everything goes in a corrupt system of government.

President Jovenel Moise and Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant have come up with a budget of $2.2 billion. That budget contains a 74 percent increase in salaries, cars, staff and travel per diem for members of parliament. The proposing budget is good for them, those in the government, and nothing for the people. No wonder why imposing an unfair tax on Haitians living abroad resonates so harmoniously with the Haitian government and Congress.

Instead of imposing unnecessary taxes on its citizens, Haiti should learn to deal with its own problems. For instance, an influx of expatriates is being deported from the Dominican Republic. As we all know, Trump administration is not renewing the temporary protected status (TPS) of thousands of Haitians who are living in the United States. They are likely to be deported to Haiti after January 2018. The shameful fact is that the budget of the Haitian government is 70% dependent on foreign aid.

When will this diaspora tax law be abolished? When will Haiti free itself from the ravage of depression and corruption? When will it be self-sufficient and transparent? Not believing in evolution, I wish Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint Louverture, Henry Christophe and others could evolve to reshape Haiti as it was in its glorious past.

Only then, the pride of being the model of freedom and the first black nation on earth could take hold.

"We are the ones who are helping Haiti. We are the ones paying for the school for all of these children. They should respect us; but instead, they are taking us for fools."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments