Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced yesterday that the government is removing value-added tax (VAT) from boating materials related to the replacement and repair of vessels damaged during Hurricane Dorian.
The Category 5 storm devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September.
During a town meeting on Man-O-War Cay, Abaco, Minnis said, “When I was here the other day, I met two young men who had started a ferry boat operation.”
He added, “They started in 2016 and subsequently they built up a fleet of about 10 boats. Subsequently, during the storm, they lost about four or six [boats] and [had] other stuff like engine damage.
“What they asked me was can I go back to my Cabinet and see whether we can implement a program where boat engines – new and repaired – will be VAT-free.
“To those gentlemen, I want to say that that has been answered. So, all the boat engines and repairs will be VAT-free also.”
Yesterday’s announcement was the latest in a series of recent tax exemptions for storm victims living in areas affected by Dorian.
On Wednesday, the prime minister revealed that Abaco and Grand Bahama had been designated VAT-free for at least one year.
In a recent statement, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) explained that the VAT relief policy “means that individuals and businesses will be exempt from the payment of value-added tax on a range of items”.
According to OPM, these include: unprepared food of all types, water, fruit and vegetable juice; clothes, shoes, hats, belts, stockings, gloves, scarves, cleaning supplies, beds and bedding material, hardware supplies building materials, landscaping supplies, pest control supplies; electrical fixtures and materials, electrical generators, farming equipment and supplies, fishing equipment and supplies, manufacturing equipment, cots, protective and safety gear, household furniture, furnishings and appliances, solar panels, mosquito netting, plumbing fixtures and materials, office supplies and equipment, tents, air-conditioning units and other equipment.
VAT on fuel for generators in areas still without electricity will also be VAT-free, OPM said.