Members of the House of Assembly will converge in the Chambers today, Tuesday, June 6th to continue discussions on the Cruising Permit (Amendment) Act, 2017.
Under the bill which was tabled by Premier and Minister of Finance Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith, in-season (from December 1-April 30) cruising permit fee for home charters boat will be $6 per person; foreign base-$16; and for out-of-season (May 1 to November 30)- home based charter boats cruising permit fee will be $2.25 per person; and foreign base charter- $8.
During the debate, there were some differences between the government and members of the Opposition over the move.
From indications, members of the yachting industry have raised concern over the increase.
"This is becoming so ridiculous that couple of my friends met me and (said) we are chasing charter boats out of the country because they are telling them that we are increasing the fees 300 per cent and they are quite right that’s what we did 300 per cent, from $2 to $6 and $4 to $16," he said today, May 29th in the House of Assembly," Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton.
Meanwhile, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie, Opposition Leader said that, the government is going to tax themselves out of the industry by bringing various taxes back to back.
"If we look at all the other fees that are tax on all those who are going to be coming in, on those cruising permits per person, and then add this on, we have to ask ourselves if we are not taxing ourselves out of the industry, whilst saying that we are trying to protect it?"
He added, "It’s a question that must be asked and one that must be looked at, because we can't just keeping putting on a little bit here, a little bit there, and saying it's not a problem, whether it's visitors and whether it's locals or whatever."
- Source: BVIHotpress.com