Chatrani: Tax will turn away investors

Tourism stakeholders are warning the Freundel Stuart administration that its new Municipal Solid Waste Tax will be a barrier to economic recovery efforts and a further deterrent to investment.

President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association Sunil Chatrani is putting the Government on notice that if the already “struggling” hospitality sector is forced to pay the new tax, it would not be able to lead the country back to economic recovery.

Chatrani said in a statement that the levy, which is being imposed on the site value of properties that generate waste, will also effectively make Barbados less competitive as a tourism destination.

Sunil Chatrani
Sunil Chatrani

“This sector will bear the brunt of the tax at a time when it is currently seeking financial relief in the form of promised duty free concessions that are yet to be received.

“Nevertheless, we have continued performing on an uneven playing field for several months now with the understanding that these concessions are forthcoming,” the BHTA president said.

He noted that due to the nature of the hospitality business, most of the real estate is owned by the operators who, in order to remain competitive, make substantial reinvestments in their properties.

“Yet, while we continue to improve our product and increase the land value, we are being penalised for our improvements.

“In some cases, this new tax is a few hundred thousand dollars, with no consideration for the fact that the investors more or less, help to create the land values in those areas due to the significant levels of their investments,” pointed the BHTA leader.

“As an export sector,” Chatrani added,”we remain committed to our role in this economic recovery programme and will continue to do our part. However, we need the tools in order to be able to do the job effectively and we simply cannot afford punitive input taxes of this nature.”

He is suggesting that if Barbados is to regain its competitive position in the Caribbean, significant reinvestments are required to bring the local product up to standard in this heavily capitalised tourism sector, which is already struggling financially.


8 Responses to Chatrani: Tax will turn away investors

  1. Francis McClean
    Francis McClean July 11, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Once again did this government vetted this tax. Did they speak to the business people, did they consider the effects. Don’t they know that people wid money don’t like to pay taxes. They go to extensive lengths to hide their money so as not to pay taxes. Taxes are a deal breaker especially in a weak economy.

  2. Les Carr
    Les Carr July 11, 2014 at 7:03 am

    The imposition of the tax demonstrates incompetence pure and simple. The tax has precious little to do with solid waste and more to do with raising revenue in general and funding future BOLT payments for overcapacity and underutilization in the proposed plants. It was ill conceived.

  3. Ryan Bartlett
    Ryan Bartlett July 11, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Plain and simple the MoF clearly is still trying to learn on the job! Now please don’t attack me this is something that he admitted to! The painful reality is tho, this man is also consumed by his own arrogance.

  4. Neysa Huey
    Neysa Huey July 11, 2014 at 7:45 am

    no it won’t. The investors are told whose pockets to line, and then they get 25 years tax free………

  5. Patrick Blackman July 11, 2014 at 10:11 am

    The hospitality sector has been a leach on the government of Barbados, just like the the sugar industry was a few years back. Stop waiting for hand outs and concessions, you run a business, manage it like a business.

    If you want to help Barbados then you support Barbadian small business. Make your members buy local, 90-95% percent of your input should be local, promote bajan food in your establishments, when you go to Mexico you eat mexican food, the same with China etc.

    Develop a tourism product, not just sea and sand, you can find that every where in the world. Address your cost issues, if this business was so bad why are you still in it, certainly is not for love, its because you are making money thats why, just not the amount that you greedy people want to make.

    Like the sugar industry, you keep sucking away at the straw….

  6. Bobby Brown
    Bobby Brown July 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Get and vote for them again

  7. catherine July 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Listen to what Mr. Chatrani is saying – as the COO and former CFO for one of our major hotel groups, he’s got his finger directly on the pulse of the industry. And what is not being said amidst all the talk about ‘new’ business coming in and recoveries on the way is that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars have flown away in just the last 6 months to competing destinations. Less than competitive already, we’re about to make the situation worse….


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