March 9, 2023 | By Colin O. Jarrett |
The Income Tax Relief Large Scale Projects and Pioneer Industries Act in Jamaica is in its final stages which will enable the country to attract investments of US$1B or more.
“The legislation will provide a suite of tax incentives to potential large-scale investors” according to Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke who further informed that he expects to table the revised document in Parliament “very shortly”. “We’re very close to completing the amendments. I was actually hoping to table it in March but definitely within the next three months” he said during a March 1 meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives at Gordon House where members are deliberating the 2023/2024 Estimates of Expenditure.
The Government’s move to amend the legislation comes against the background of similar provisions proposed in the arrangements with Tavistock Jamaica Inc, which is partnering with the Government to undertake the Harmony Cove tourism development project in Trelawny. The entity is a subsidiary of a global private investment company, the Tavistock Group.
“You’ll recall that a central feature that project is the Government providing a suite of incentives to Tavistock. However, the policy position of the Government is that the idea of providing tax incentives to a single project that is not generally available, is inimical to the kind of Jamaica that we want to build” Dr Clarke told committee members.
Dr Clarke underscored the importance of ensuring that “we also have a transparent, open process for anyone else investing those sums to be afforded the opportunity of similar types of incentives”.
Dr Clarke said consequent on the tabling of the amended legislation, he would see it fit to finalize the suite of incentives with Tavistock for the development at the 2,300-acre Harmony Cove Property.
That is being developed into a resort to include several world-class golf courses, a luxury spa, marina facilities, commercial developments, luxury hotels, private residences and other amenities. Additionally, it will include a hotel, casino, convention and entertainment centres, restaurants and retail assets and is expected to cost some US$7.5 billion.
The project is a 50/50 venture that will see each partner injecting US$25 million.