EDITOR, The Tribune.
Regarding the Grants Town and Over-the-Hill Enterprise Zone what is initially very fundamental to know is has any due diligence been done on this project?
(1) An Economic profile has to be taken - like you know-your-customer at the Bank, you have to know what Grants Town is ......
(2) Land ownership? Every plot has to be identified as to who owns them.
(3) Of those owners - who is still ‘resident’ and who isn’t?
(4) Average size of plot/land holding and physical state of any standing property.
(5) Is ownership lease or freehold?
(6) How much do people owe in Real Property Tax, BEC/BP&L, Water & Sewerage, BTC?
(7) Identify Crown Property?
(8) Identify residential which is Owner-Occupier?
(9) Identify any Covenants on any part of the land?
(10) Traffic Study of traffic flows North-south, east-west and opposite.
I am sure the Minnis Government had no time to even cover half of these points so we have to give them time but sure his speech and announcement was a real Santa Claus giveaway.
Another very fundamental issue is whether the absent property owner who is renting his property and has never improved the property going to qualify?
Will persons who reside outside of the zone be able to purchase property and take advantage of the tax concessions?
Editor this is not new .... Back in the late 70’s then Minister of Finance A D Hanna proposed precisely the same and had obtained a commitment from The World Bank to fund the proposal. Regrettably nothing came of it.
This complex planning is years away. Progressive in concept but $5 million will hardly pay for, at best, septic tank systems.
Sure as things improve surely the existing property rents will increase - will this be causing displacement of long-term residents?
I fear we could end up with these people having no chance of ever pulling themselves out of the economic position they find themselves.
December 9, 2017.