Categorized | National News

Extension Needed for GB Investments and Incentives Act

State Minister for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson said the government has determined that an additional six-month extension is needed for further discussions about what exactly should be included in the Grand Bahama Investments and Incentives Act.

The act, as it stands, mandates that the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s (GBPA) 3,500 licensees apply to Nassau for the renewal of tax breaks they previously enjoyed by right under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement that expired on May 4, 2015.

“This process from day one was flawed. The committee was appointed too late.  The government was unable to fulfill all their recommendations its own committee recommend,” Mr. Thompson said during his contribution to the debate on the 2017/2018 Budget Communication in the Senate yesterday.

“And finally after it consulted with the GBPA, they were unable to accept the warning from the private sector and the port on this act.”

Mr. Thompson further shared a number of the government’s concerns.

The requirements of the act seemed to impose extra burden on business licensees of the port authority which other Bahamians were not required to meet,” he said.

The repeal of the GBPA Investment Incentives Act 2016 was promised by the Minnis administration during the campaign trail.

Opposition Leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis last month noted that a series of extensions gave GBPA licensees until July 4, 2017 and cautioned the Minnis administration on their plans to repeal the act.

“We remind the prime minister and deputy prime minister that the bill was evidenced based. Its primary purpose was to ensure land in the Port area was not hoarded, but rather be developed for the benefit for the residents and licensees of the Port area,” Mr. Davis said.

“I remind them that they voted for the bill when it was introduced and I continue to remind them that they ought to be careful in their repealing of this act.”

The Christie administration introduced the Grand Bahama (Port Area) Investment Incentives Act 2016.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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