BVI News

Waive taxes for USVI visitors coming for Sunday’s horse races

President of the Horse Owners Association, Lesmore Smith.

President of the BVI Horse Owners Association, Lesmore Smith, wants the taxes to enter the BVI to be waived for horseracing fans from the US Virgin Islands who are attending the upcoming races on Tortola.

Smith is advocating for the tax waiver ahead of the new Boxing Day races on Sunday, January 19. The initial December 26, 2019 races were postponed because of inclement weather.

Smith told BVI News that he intends to take this proposal up with the relevant authorities.

“I can’t make a promise to put anything out there in terms of financial assistance, but what I could do is see how best we can soften the impact and ask the government if they can waive the taxes for the day just to be an incentive to encourage for them (USVI fans and horsemen) to come over.”

In the meantime, Smith said he wants some attention to be given to the Ellis Thomas Downs.

“Based on the [Boxing Day] experience, I would like very much for the government to probably see if there is any way we could quicken the coverage of the grandstand to ensure that even if it rains and even if there is a postponement because of the track condition, the patrons, the vendors, wouldn’t get wet to the extent that they were because the grandstand is not covered,” Smith said.

He said vendors will not be charged to operate at the upcoming event since the absence of shelter over the stands had affected them on Boxing Day.

“It’s only fair because they paid their money and it is going to be a win-win or a loss-loss for all of us,” he reasoned.

Come Sunday, the event is expected to continue where it left off with a total of five more races to be run.

The facility was severely affected in the 2017 weather events

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. And says:

    He thinks his ndp 2 is in where he can call shots? mehson go from here we need every dime

    No waiver mr premier

    Like 29
    Dislike 8
    • #BVI says:

      Do you really think that NDP1,NDP2 will work next election? Yo better keep your green party in check with your cocky comments before you find yourself on the other side again.

  2. Jokes says:

    What an absurd idea.

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  3. Reasonable says:

    I think that’s fair to say, we should definitely waive the taxes.

    Like 6
    Dislike 27
  4. Yeah sure says:

    Lets make exceptions to tax rules for a simple horse rase. Get outta here.

    Like 28
    Dislike 3
  5. tru says:

    Why not let them in free, why not give them free drinks, why not a free buffet, why not free taxi rides to the ground, oh wait why because its money out your pockets…that why

    Like 33
    Dislike 4
  6. funny says:

    Who owns the racetrack?

    Like 12
  7. Hmmm says:

    Are you kidding me?

    Like 20
  8. hey mister man says:

    Were the horse owners from st.thomas given incentives since they came at a lost last race day? Were they compensated for hotel bills, food bills, car rentals and both ferry and barge fees?

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  9. Mcdougal says:

    Let em
    In for free then charge them $1000.000 to leave.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  10. Anonymous says:

    They all come in free anyway, nobody got time for customs!

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  11. Rolls eyes dramatically says:

    They all come in for free anyway, ain’t nobody got time for customs!

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  12. Kingfish says:

    If the BVI would abolish horse racing we would not have to worry about this matter, more serious matters to be discussed here in the BVI.

    Like 11
    Dislike 8
    • Tola says:

      Slavery mentality you got. That’s why tola stuck in 1st gear and cant move forward to produce nothing good to benefit the country

  13. SMH101 says:


    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  14. Rock City says:

    Plenty of people here in Rock City don’t want to to the BVIs anymore with all the taxes imposed left right and center.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  15. I FROM HERE says:

    This is exactly why he wasn’t voted in! Always with some dumb a$$ idea!

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  16. Wanted says:

    Smith they their $10.00 head tax USVI right but can’t paid to the bvi because we are fool

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  17. Disinterested says:

    Ok. If fees are waived for horse racing, why not waiver fees for August Festival? Will the USVI also waive its fees, ie, for Carnival? Does government own the EllisThomas Downs and if so why don’t it outsource its operation or better yet privatize it? What other regional country(s) own race track(s)

  18. SMH 101 says:


  19. not good says:

    if you guys have problem with Lesmore smith and St Thomas who Else One on BVI Islander One Type of Red Blood and one God Jesus Crist

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  20. HMMM says:

    who waves anything for bvi residents in the USVI? STUPES

  21. Sly Mongoose says:

    What I would like to know is how they would know who is going to the horse races and who is not.

  22. Truth says:

    Too early in the new year to listern to idiots who has no vision ,, but divisions ,, as a country and people who is still in a recovering state from Irma that need every dime and help , he did listen what the primer said about public service and finding ways to generate/ making money for the country, this a fool are un idiot , and this is the man who wants my vote NP.

Leave a Comment