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Taxing Bali's Farmers into Oblivion

Urgent Call for Differential Tax Rates for Agricultural Land in Bali.

(3/12/2011) The government of Bali has been asked to review land taxes paid by productive rice field owners in order to stem a growing trend in which farmers, unable to meet their tax obligations, are forced to sell their lands.

As reported in BeritaBali.com, the chairman of the Indonesian Farmer's Union, Herry Saragih, told the press at Nusa Dua that there needs to be a difference in tax rates charged for land used for commercial projects like hotels and farming land, even though the plots of land share similar locations. More favorable tax rates for agricultural lands would assist Bali's efforts to stem the rapid decline in farming land in Bali.

Saragih also recommends that Bali call a halt to large scale tourism developments. Said the man who zealously works to represents the interests of agricultural workers: "Indeed , forbid large-scale hotels. For example, golf courses, there's no need for this in Bali. If people want to play golf, let them visit another island. You don't need to play golf in Bali. Frankly, that is an ‘evil' (haram) industry."

Saragih concluded by saying he hoped Bali would managed to safeguard its farming sector and not become solely dependent on the tourism industry.