By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis tabled an amendment in the House of Assembly yesterday to expand New Providence’s economic empowerment zone, which will allow Englerston and Montel Heights to now qualify for concessions.
He noted the zone is now “limited by Wulff Road (in the) south and Delancy Street in the north.”
Explaining the composition of the zone, he said: “Nassau Street will still remain the western boundary and as you reach the roundabout at Poinciana then turn east on Poinciana and then south Rupert Dean Lane so as to include Black Village, leaving Tyler Street, subsequently traveling to Blue Hill Road, travel Blue Hill Road south to Independence Highway and then east along Independence Highway up to the Marathon Mall junction, then west along Robinson Road up to Claridge Road, north along Claridge Road, Wulff Road and continue to the imaginary boundary extending Collins Wall thus encompassing Black Village, St Barnabas, and Englerston, inclusive of Montell Heights. Ridgeland Park also.
“These areas will now be tax free zones. The boundaries would also extend along East Hill Road thus including the old post office so that as the new court complex is designed and developed on that particular property they would be able to take advantage of this tax free zone.”
He added: “This will follow also with inclusion of some sectors of Kemp Road, sectors of Fox Hill, Gambier and also sectors of Adelaide, the more depressed areas so as to help decrease their tax burdens and allow them to expand their homes, development, build houses etc, all duty free. I think this would go very well especially for all of those in the inner city.”
The Economic Empowerment Zone programme was among Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ main promises in opposition as he pledged to improve the impoverished areas. Today, people in those communities can import materials for constructing, equipping and completing buildings without paying taxes if they qualify.
In June, Dr Minnis announced the plans to expand New Providence’s economic empowerment zone. At the time, he said 90 applications had been made under the Economic Empowerment Zone Act to date, 50 of which had been approved.
“This has resulted in a total of approximately $1.246m in business licence, customs duties and real property tax concessions being provided to these businesses,” he said in June.