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Thompson: Project at former Gin Sur Mer site not progressing as govt had hoped

The project that has been simmering in West End at the former Gin Sur Mer site for more than a year has not progressed as the government had hoped, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson said Monday.

Thompson, who was making his contribution to the 2019/2020 budget in the Senate, said while the project at the former Gin Sur Mer site, which was to be named Bahama Bay, is drudging along, the existing Old Bahama Bay operations are continuing as normal with high interest from potential buyers.

Thompson added that Grand Bahama, which has been economically depressed for a number of years, saw an increase in its revenue collection during 2018 and the beginning of 2019.

According to Thompson, import duties, excise taxes, air departure taxes and passenger taxes for pleasure boats increased in Freeport for the period July 2018 to May 2019, as compared to the same period in 2017/2018.

He said import duties increased from $20,254,882.81 to $20,339,275.59; excise taxes increased from $22,956,772.89 to $24,182,243.64; air departure taxes increased from $188,963.00 to $271,958.47; and passenger taxes for pleasure vessels increased from $18,313.00 to $21,992.40.

“Correlating with increased air arrivals/departures, collection of air departure taxes nearly doubled this fiscal year,” he said.

“Compared on a month-to-month basis, air departure tax collection skyrocketed particularly in September, November, January and May, rising from $10,817.00 in September 2017 to a total of $30,406.00 in September 2018.”

Air departure tax went from $13,601.00 in January 2018 to $47,821.00 in January 2019, while in May it more than doubled, increasing from $14,529 in May 2018 to $33,478 in May 2019.

“Collection also increased for pleasure vessels in West End this fiscal period by 4.9 percent, climbing from $101,080 during 2017-2018 to a total of $106,000 in 2018-2019, having seen the most impact during the months of February and May 2019,” said Thompson.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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