Haiti's new tax on money sent to relatives sparks outrage in Brooklyn community
On Brooklyn's Haitian station Radio Soleil, caller after caller this summer has been upset about one thing - a new fee on money sent to friends and family back home.
"That's one of the hottest topics," said Ricot Dupuy, general manager of Radio Soleil, which broadcasts from Nostrand Ave.
Dupuy said people are willing to contribute to rebuilding Haiti, but many are wary about President Michel Martelly's vague plans for collecting and using the money to pay for education.
Martelly told a crowd in Miami last month he would set up an auditing process, but some believe he should have gotten approval from Congress before imposing the charge.
"Before you can ask people to contribute, they have to be assured that the money is going to go where it is supposed to go. People feel it will be business as usual," Dupuy said.
At C.A.M. money transfer on Nostrand Ave. yesterday, a manager said she has been getting complaints.
"You can't make a transfer without paying the fee," she said. "I don't know what they are going to do with the money. We just have to comply with the new law."
A few customers said they were willing to give Martelly's plan a chance.
"If he does the right thing, it's the only way for the country to move on," said taxi driver Onel Pierre, 59. "I do try with him because you have to trust somebody."
But Flatbush housepainter Micheleir Bougy, 50, who uses a wire service each week to send money to his daughter, wasn't convinced.
"They say it's for high schools, but no, I don't believe that," Bougy said. "I don't know where it will go."
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