Tue | Aug 22, 2017

JHTA, government remain at loggerheads over plans for TEF money

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2017 | 3:00 PM
Finance Minister and the Finance Minister Audley Shaw.

The Government has rejected a proposal by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) to delay using money from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to support the Consolidated Fund.

The proposal was put forward by the association at a meeting with the Finance Minister and the Finance Minister Audley Shaw yesterday.

The hotel association wanted a six-month delay in the movement of funds from the TEF to the Consolidated Fund to facilitate discussions and a possible agreement over the administration of the TEF surplus.

The JHTA says the tourism minister has indicated that he is willing to continue dialogue with the hoteliers.

The hoteliers have been adamant that the TEF was established by law specifically for the purpose of tourism infrastructure development and so money should not be used from it to pump into the Consolidated Fund.

On the matter of property tax increases, the JHTA is to show proof of its claim of astronomical increases being levied on players in the tourism sector.

Robinson said at least one hotelier is now required to pay as much as a 1,000 per cent increase in property taxes under the revised rates.