More resort properties qualify for tax relief
Minister of Tourism Dr Wykeham McNeill said the reform of tax laws that streamlined incentives for all sectors has led to more local properties qualifying for relief.
Properties now can claim relief on capital goods and other inputs have moved from 100 to 400, representing all entities registered with the Jamaica Tourist Board, McNeill told Parliamentarians in his Sectoral Debate presentation on Tuesday.
The Hotel Incentives Act was among legislation replaced under the omnibus Fiscal Incentives Act.
The new law gives access to tourism subsector not previously included under HIA, which only dealt with accommodations, said McNeill.
“The omnibus also benefits the attractions and transportation sub sectors,” he said, and its “incentives are in perpetuity” while the HIA granted relief for 10 or 15 years, the tourism minister said.
“All of this means that the entire sector can now regularly refresh and refurbish as it is now more attractive to reinvest,” he said. “This will ensure that the Jamaican tourism product remains on the cutting edge of the industry.”
The tourism minister said the philosophy underpinning the new tax incentive law is that all productive sectors, be they tourism, manufacturing or agriculture, should have one common incentive regime.
It’s meant to encourage investment, he said, while noting that notwithstanding recent new additions to the resort sector, especially by the Spanish, more rooms were needed.
Investment in the sector totalled $54 billion from 2012 to date, he said.
New investments in the pipeline are expected to grow the room stock by 1,600 over the next 18 months.