0

Passenger tax tabled in House ‘had date error’

DEPUTY Prime Minister Chester Cooper.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Chester Cooper.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Prime Minister Chester Cooper said the Passenger Tax bill tabled in the House of Assembly last month had an error that did not accurately reveal the date passenger tax increases would take effect.

He was responding yesterday to Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard, who said the government would miss its revenue projections for departure taxes after Mr Cooper appeared to announce a delay in the implementation date of the increases.

“The government arranged the new cruise tax structure to begin January 1, 2024, therefore, there will be no impact on the government’s revenue projections,” Mr Cooper said yesterday. “The bill that was laid did not correctly reflect and will be amended before it is passed. The cruise companies are aware of that.”

The bill tabled last month said all amendments would take effect on July 1, 2023, except for a tourism enhancement levy that would take effect on January 1, 2024.

The Tribune reported last week that cruise lines lobbied for a delay in the passenger tax increases when they met Mr Cooper in Florida.

According to the budget, the government aims to nearly triple revenues earned from departing cruise passengers, projecting $145m in revenue in the 2023-2024 budget, up from $50m in the current fiscal year.

In a press statement yesterday, before Mr Cooper told The Tribune about the error in the bill, Mr Pintard said the postponement of the passenger tax increases was an “embarrassing reversal” for the Davis administration that “upended” the government’s revenue projections.

“Just as they did with their decision to increase taxes on insurance, medical services, breadbasket items, road traffic, boat registration and a host of others, this government continues to act as authoritarian rulers rather than democratic partners with the Bahamian people and foreign stakeholders who are vital to our economic stability,” he said.

Mr Cooper, however, insisted the government’s projections have not been affected because officials always intended to introduce the passenger tax increases on January 1, 2024.

Comments

ExposedU2C 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Poor Basket Ball Head Cooper can't even tell a lie with a straight face anymore. LOL

0

BMW 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Why do the boaters that register every year have to now pay almost 700% more to cover the people that dont register their boats. My registration went from $120.00 inc.vat to $770.00 its crazy, With a $75.00 fine for not registering, this may be the way to go.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.