0

Crossing Bridge To Paradise Island To Cost You Eight Cents More - In Vat!

photo

K Peter Turnquest

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE decision to implement value added tax on the toll at the Sidney Poitier Bridge to Paradise Island has been criticised as another burden on the working class.

On Friday, the Bridge Authority announced that the toll would increase by 7.5 per cent next week. Officials announced that the collection of VAT on the toll fare for all vehicles would begin as of midnight on July 13.

Yesterday, Free National Movement Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest lamented the impact of the increased taxation on the working class commuters.

“These people who are going to be paying this toll are primarily the workers going over to Paradise Island to work,” he said.

“I think it just represents another taxation on those people, most of whom are in the lower to middle income bracket. It just seems to me a bit unfair to be taxed to go to work, other people going to their jobs don’t have to bear that kind of taxation, why should those people bear that?

“I think that it’s unusually harsh to tax people for the privilege to go to work, and now here you are going to take another eight cents per day.

“At some point it becomes too much,” he added.

When contacted for comment yesterday, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said that while he did not know much about the new measure, the bridge toll had not seen an increase in a long time.

He expressed confidence in the authority’s ability to effectively manage the changes.

The toll for single axle vehicles will increase from $1 to $1.08; $2 becomes $2.15 for double axles; and $3 becomes $3.23 for triple axle vehicles.

VAT will also be added to the issue of transponders, smart cards and all top up transactions, the statement released on Friday read.

Further restructuring will take place next month when “cash only” lanes will be reduced from three lanes to lanes one and two only, prompting fears from some observers of increased traffic on the bridge.

Lanes three and four will be for transponders and smart cards only, according to the statement, which indicated that fines will be imposed on persons violating the use of those lanes.

The statement read: “The Bridge Authority apologises for any inconvenience that may be caused and assures its customers and stakeholders that all efforts are being made to ensure the efficient operation of services to our customers are minimised.”

Labour Minister Shane Gibson, who has responsibility for the Bridge Authority, declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

Bridge Authority Direct Melissa Hall did not respond to messages left up to press time.

VAT was implemented on most goods and services on January 1.

Comments

banker 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank goodness for a pre-paid transponder.

1

Regardless 3 years, 11 months ago

..total nickle and dime operation now. Imagine the time employees will have to invest to prepare countless dispensations of 92 cents for the $2.00 presented for the $1.08 tariff. Another well thought out plan!

5

banker 3 years, 11 months ago

Here is the sick part. The bridge corporation was formed to pay for the cost of the bridge. That happened years ago, and they collect millions of dollars ... for what? Where is the money going? I am told that they collect over 10 million a year. The bridge was paid for in a few years. Here is another case for the Auditor General.

5

duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

Yep banker ............... this bridge has been paid off long time (thanks to HAI vision) ...... now it is a toll bridge collecting taxes for the government ..........

When will the PLP put a toll booth near the cemetery on the highway to the SLOP Airport??

You need more taxes to pay all of those poor Bahamar workers .............. SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!

0

EnoughIsEnough 3 years, 11 months ago

i agree with you wholeheartedly. what the frig is 8 cents? an inconvenience. they could certainly afford to adjust the base price lower and include the VAT to keep it at $1, or make it 1.10 or 1.25. i would care about paying that. but 8 friggin cents? retards. absolutely.

and i couldn't say it better re the PLP in general. i can only say - "ditto".

5

TruePeople 3 years, 11 months ago

Bahamian 'Leadership' has long been a frustration of mine. There seems to be a total lack of transparency and accountability.

"This government is the stupidest government in the entire history of the Bahamas" <- 100%!

People does get mislead with all the mudflinging and political retoric, not realising that it's not a PLP vs. FNM issue, cus all of them are buddy. Infact, all of them are the same ones dem who been screwing the Bahamas from when i was a child. IT's the same damn mp's, same damn people, and dey is get more stupid / greedy as time goes on.

How any bahamian could back up these politicians after these past few years where we seen unabated crime, shameful corruption, and now the new trend of juicing the bahamian people for foolish gov't spending.

Dey talk about more jobs and we does get less jobs, higher cost of living... well damn

2

B_I_D___ 3 years, 11 months ago

VAT must be charged...It should have been charged from Jan 1st...but as previously stated, make it inclusive, and make it $1,25 or $1.50 for cash tolls. For those with transponders, let them run it at $1.08. Give people an incentive to have a prepaid transponder. Faster processing and less traffic buildup.

2

TheMadHatter 3 years, 11 months ago

Child with smart thinking like that - you bess be careful - da Governor General gah void ya passport !!!!

1

Sickened 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't go over the bridge that often but I NEVER see anyone using the transponder line and there are always at least 3 to 4 cars at the 'cash only' lines. Why are they closing a 'cash only' lane only to create another 'barely used' lane? Is it just so they can get rid of yet another Bahamian job?

0

sansoucireader 3 years, 11 months ago

You don't see anyone using the transponder lane because they've already driven through while people are waiting in the 'cash only' lanes. My husband has a transponder provided by his job on PI. At first it was a wallet-sized device that just sat on the dashboard and was movable from car to car. A few years ago transponders were upgraded; it's now similar to a thin magnetic (?) strip that is mounted to the car's front window and can't be switched from car to car.

Why didn't they keep the fee @ $1, the same way the daily newspapers remained @ $1 even with VAT? Adding VAT just makes Bahamians feel this is someplace else in our own country 'they' don't want us to 'go to'. They may not have a reason to drive over there, but making it $1.08 angers people for more than one reason.

1

Josie 3 years, 11 months ago

We've been paying VAT since January on our transponder account.

1

B_I_D___ 3 years, 11 months ago

Interesting...will double check our bills.

0

duppyVAT 3 years, 11 months ago

We need to collect a VAT on Shane Gibson's stupid bald head ........... this is a stupid idea just intended to raise revenue for a desperate bumbling PLP government ............ SMT

BTW ............ what does the Auditor General's report say about the Bridge Authority accounts??

2

DillyTree 3 years, 11 months ago

Collect your pennies and pay the entire $1.08 in coins, counting slowly at the cash booth. Jam up the bridge all the way back to Shirley and Bay Streets. Give that a couple of days and see how quickly things go back to $1 again. The sheer stupidity of this government never ceases to amaze!

4

EnoughIsEnough 3 years, 11 months ago

i like this idea!!! grin and bear it a few times, drive them all crazy, and they'll have to change it back! getting my pennies now...

0

OMG 3 years, 11 months ago

Have you noticed that we are in many cases paying 8% VAT not 7.5%. Shops are making a killing with the extra 1/2 cent on most transaction.

0

lionfish 3 years, 11 months ago

Shops don't keep any of the VAT monies collected. The 7.5% is rounded up and ALL of that goes to the government, including the 1/2 cent. Besides (devil's advocate here) it would take 2,000 transactions at 1/2 cent to make $100. Not really a killing, eh?

0

TheMadHatter 3 years, 11 months ago

Dey gah use all dem 8 cents to buy back BahaMar land. LOL.

0

proudloudandfnm 3 years, 11 months ago

What a stupid price!! That bridge is going to be bumper to bumper while everyone digs for pennies. And to reduce the cash lanes!?!?!?

Who's the idiot in charge? lol!!!

2

proudloudandfnm 3 years, 11 months ago

You can definitely eliminate the "exact change" lane... lol....

And Errybody ga wait for they .92 cents change... lol.....

0

proudloudandfnm 3 years, 11 months ago

I say errybody show up that day with pennies!!!! lol....

0

asiseeit 3 years, 11 months ago

Forrest Gump would scratch his head on this one, you most certainly can not make this stupidity up! The tourist will have a great "can you believe how stupid The Bahamas is" story.

2

Sign in to comment