After hearing exuberant concerns about increased fees for building permits from business owners Ambergris Today, sought out to get the facts straight and contacted the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority.
Present at the meeting were, Chairman of the committee, Juan Alamilla; Councilor Nano Guerrero; Mr. Frank Panton, Inspector Landy Trejo, Secretary Candy Bradley and Engineer Omar Mitchell.
One of the issues which were first clarified by Mr. Mitchell was that the increase of fees is meant for foreign developers and not local developers. “This is not a fee that was just put up yesterday. This Impact Tax is not meant to penalize any local developer but rather foreign investors,” commented Mr. Mitchell. “If foreign developers are willing to invest millions of dollars in the construction of huge buildings then they should be charged.” This money, he says, is tax money that will stay on the island and put to good use.
According to the ACLBA they are only charging a minimal fee compared to other countries around in the Caribbean. The local building authority is only charging ½% of the value of the structure and it is a one time charge for the developers and not contractors, whereas in other countries the cost is three to four times the amount and is a recurring tax collected approximately every three years.
The main reason why this Impact Tax is being implemented is because many developers construct these condos and commercial buildings and the money doesn’t stay on the island or in the country. With these huge development, come many set backs of services for the island, such as more workers and having to build more schools, hospitals, roads and the proper disposal of garbage, all of which costs a lot of money to the local authorities.
Projects such as a Beach Nourishment Project, Solid Waste Management, Road Maintenance and protection of the Reef, as well as building a proper cemetery, more schools, hospital and other services will be available for the people of San Pedro.
The Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority will be meeting with local contractors to clear out this issue and explain in further detail what the impact tax is and to whom it will be charged. For more information feel free to contact the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority. The date of the meeting will be announced as soon as it becomes available.