JHTA and government to meet over tax increases
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) will today hold talks with the finance and tourism ministers on the critical issues of excessive property taxes, plans to withdraw money from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the tax on group health insurance.
The meeting comes days after the tourism body recommended that its members refrain from paying the property tax increases announced by the finance minister Audley Shaw.
According to JHTA president Omar Robinson, one small hotelier in Kingston has seen property taxes moved from $594,000 to $6.4 million.
Robinson says another operator in Port Antonio, Portland saw property taxes move from $92,000 to $895,000.
He says the increase come at a time when occupancy levels are low and operators are struggling to remain sustainable.
On the matter of the TEF drawdown, the JHTA president says his members believe the government should reconsider the move.
Robinson says the JHTA is hopeful of an amicable agreement with the government.