The BVI Marine Association is calling for an extension of the tax break that was granted for certain goods entering the territory, adding that many businesses have not been able to take advantage due to hardships still being faced.
The Association’s Chairperson, Sam Welch, told BVI News Online he would love to see the waiver extended for at least three additional months. It is expected to come to an end on December 31.
“At the moment we really aren’t [benefitting] because it’s very difficult to get stuff in. Another three months would be great and it would be very helpful. Once we get people in, there will be revenue coming in, and we are not going to get a lot of people in unless the boats moving,” Welch remarked.
“There are boats going out there as we speak on charter and they are bringing revenue in, and to sort of scotch that revenue, to include tariffs and duties, are hard, to say the least.”
While continuing to lament the hardship being faced by many, he noted that the sign is there to show that many persons are still struggling to get their lives back together since the hurricane.
“For duties to be waived beyond December 31st would be very, very, helpful. Because as you know, three months post-hurricane Irma, do you see any tin on the roofs yet? Do you see important bits coming in? Getting it out of shipment areas has been incredibly slow,” said Welch.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith recently hinted at a possible extension of the tax waiver while speaking on a radio program recently.
During the program, he said that because many persons are still awaiting payout from their insurance companies they are unable to take advantage of the waiver. He said extending the deadline would put many in a better position to take advantage.
He said a review is now being conducted.
The tax break applies to items such as food, water, building materials, electrical fixtures and materials, plumbing fixtures and materials, household furniture and appliances, pharmaceuticals and cleaning supplies.
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