BVI News


Cruise ship passengers won’t pay new fee – Vanterpool


Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool said the government should ensure it is made clear that cruise ship passengers will not be charged the environmental levy of $10 that the administration is seeking to implement.

Government yesterday took a major step towards making the fee a reality for visitors only; it succeeded in passing the Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act, 2017.

During a debate on the Bill, Vanterpool noted a provision regarding “persons or class of persons exempted from taxes under any enactment”.

He added, “I don’t know if that’s where we will protect our situation where the cruise ship passengers are already paying their $15 head tax, and therefore they will be exempted from this.”

Vanterpool indicated that he was not sure if such provision was adequately reflected in the Bill that proposes the environmental levy.

As such, he said an exemption for cruise ship passengers should be clearly stated in the Bill.

“We have to make sure that it is abundantly clear that anyone interpreting this [Bill] may be clear on that [exemption for cruise ship passengers]. So we want to talk about that in committee and see that we are clear on that,” Vanterpool told his parliamentary colleagues.

Other visitors will be ‘happy’ to pay

He further noted that he fully supports the proposed environmental levy that – among other things – will go towards better protecting the environment.

“I am pleased about this. We have to continue to seek to raise funds. From a business point of view, I think it is always important to raise the funds and connect it directly to what we are raising these funds for. I look forward to seeing this done.”

Vanterpool further stated that he thinks visitors will be happy to pay the new levy.

“Our tourists, I am sure, as they visit our shores, would be as our good Junior Minister for Tourism [Archibald Christian] pointed out; they will be happy to contribute towards maintaining our environment. If we collect these funds and don’t seem to be doing so, it would be another story. So we want to ensure that this happens,” Vanterpool said.

Mark Vanterpool

Mark Vanterpool

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  1. No disrespect, just truth and freedom! says:

    “Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool said the government should ensure it is made clear that cruise ship passengers will not be charged the environmental levy of $10 that the administration is seeking to implement.”

    Why not Mr. Minister? Why not? This is a case of taking from have nots and giving to the haves’.

    Given the exorbitant cost of everything needed for survival here, yet another tax on a salary whose purchasing power is diminishing daily, the local cannot afford anymore.

    The minimum wage that was granted recently is totally negligible and worthless in dollars and cents today, due to the gradual daily increase in prices of food, health and electricity..

    The population cannot take much more without revolting. There will a revolution, either in the physical or at the pools. People are suffering and more suffering are being compiled upon the most vulnerable while some get fat all over.

    Hence, the burden should’ve been placed on the industry that was exempted.

  2. wow says:

    and they’re the ones who are messing up the beaches?

  3. ndp heckler says:

    That would’ve been 10 million dollars more for you to have blown sir

  4. Norma A says:

    As a nearly 30 year repeat visitor, I find it interesting that cruise ship passengers will be exempt but it has been the arrival of cruise ships that has done most to damage the environment.

    It is my experience that land based visitors and charter boaters do the most to protect the islands’ natural beauty.

    Another tax that punishes me while favoring cruise ships will make me rethink where I will take my annual month long vacation dollars.

  5. Smh says:

    They must mess up our environment and we must pay for it. These guys are the second coming of Trump and his wall.

  6. Looking ahead says:

    What this guy did out of our treasury while saying he was trying to do good is unbelievable & has left us broke.

  7. Foster Grant says:

    That’s it. Good by Mark. You’ve screwed up so much here cant believe you’re still around

    • Mardelle says:

      I totally agree with Norma’s comments above. We, the land & charter boat visitors to the island, ( not the ones on a cruise ship ~visiting for one day or less) are the ones who really end up happily supporting the BVI by buying groceries, eating in your restaurants, renting cars, buying souvineers etc. everyday that we visit… not for just one day and then leave …off to visit the next island.

  8. TurtleDove says:

    Is this in addition to arivial and departure tax. Wow!

  9. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    The problem is not with corruption. The real issue is that he will not be accounted for it.

  10. Jones says:

    Born free, taxed to death.

    RIP to our tourism product, we will be overwhelmed with low class riff-raff that dont have two pennies to rub together

  11. ? says:

    This is so wrong in so many ways! Keep it up Mr. Ministers that think tourist will not mind paying an extra $15 to 20 to depart and an extra $20 to arrive. What the hell is wrong with you! Why would you not tax the very ones that screw up the environment and spend very little here the one day they are here. And we are left to pay the $30 million over spent on Pier Park. You got it all backwards; any 7th grader could figure that out quickly! You think you an continue to tax the land based, weekly or longer staying tourist that come year after year. Yes, you can continue but wait and see what happens. See what happens with a whole lot of the nonsense you guys are doing…Scrambling for funds and squandering funds will not work out!

  12. Lucky says:

    I am shocked by the crazy decisions that this government is making, there are other avenues that they can make money instead of killing us locals and some visitors. For years the government have been Robbins get the country and the people by granting the rich white friends and their friends these senseless exemptions on importation of goods to construct expensive homes that is said to be hotels that we locals CAN’T OCCUPY or visit at no time in this life. Just to give an example and readers, a piece of land purchased at one of the rich establishment is about $20,000,000.00 and the land owner gets exemption to import materials to build his home under the establishments portfolio and no import duty is paid to the treasury. For example 3 40’containers of building materials valuing $300,000.00, the treasury gets 0% in duty and the port authority gets 1%. Do the maths and see how much money the government can be making if they stop these foolish exemptions and charge the full duty on the goods. These people can afford to pay their fees.we locals are struggling and trying to make ends meet.we suffer the pain of more bills, more taxes and less income.

  13. VI says:

    NDP Take it easy!!
    You all will over tax this country if you don’t slow down with some of these projects you are rushing to achieve. Everything takes time.

    You cannot do all of them at once especially when our country is struggling to stay ah float. The world is uncertain for the next year.

    Anyone can go to the bank and get a loan for a big house but most of them will find themselves with out food on their tables after.
    Caution Be careful.

  14. Lah says:

    Aren’t we regular visitors taxed enough? Arrival tax, departure tax, hotel tax etc.

    We also support local businesses while being crowded out by cruise ship passengers.

    The BVI isn’t what it used to be and each year we say ‘perhaps this will be the last time’. An additional tax will be the last nail in your coffin.

  15. Kelli says:

    Thanks for finally talking about >Cruise ship passengers wont pay
    new fee – Vanterpool <Loved it!
    Liverpool Tröja

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