Maryland County Senator James Biney has proposed two bills to the Senate Plenary to be statutory.
“The Health Workers, Teachers, and Security Personel Incentives Act of 2021″ and ” The Act to Grant Visitor Visa Upon Arrival” are the first and second bills respectively, the senator has presented to his colleagues for enactment.
The first bill seeks to levy an additional 5% excise tax on alcoholic beverages, gambling equipment, and tobacco products.
According to the senator, the revenue that accrues as a result of the levy will be deposited in an escrow account that will be supervised by a nine-member board.
The Maryland Senator bill proposes that the board will contain one person each from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Liberia Revenue Authority ( LRA), Ministry of Commerce(MOC) Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Justice ( MOJ), Ministry of Health Workers Association among others.
Senator James Biney’s bill proposal includes that the board will be presided over by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and periodically pay incentives to health workers, teachers, and security personnel using revenue collected as a result of the 5 % levy.
“It is expected as a result of this levy that the price of a bottle of beer may increase by 15 to 20 Liberian Dollars, stout by 10 to 15 Liberian Dollars and whiskey by US 1.5 to US 2.00″, Senator Biney told reporters.
The Maryland County Lawmaker in his proposed bill added that such increment is not likely to affect the rate of consumption materially and most likely to be used to incentivize health workers, teachers, and security personnel.
Additionally, the Senator proposed to enact a law to grant visitor visas upon arrival in Liberia.
According to the bill, it seeks to make it legal for citizens from any country that doesn’t have Liberian Embassy or Consulate to receive a visa upon arrival in Liberia.
Senator James Biney argues that Liberia is lacking behind many third-world countries including Sierra Leonne, that have legislated laws to attract tourists and ease visa restrictions.
This, the Senator in his bill believes when passed into law will enhance investment and raise revenue.
He added, ” These are pieces of legislation which when passed into law will greatly impact Liberia positively”.
Senator Biney disclosed that his bills are being co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by Montserrado County District 8 Representative Acarous Moses Gray.