ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – The government has provided a fifty percent discount tax break to hoteliers during the month months of May and June 2009 as a means of ensuring that there will be no hotel and guest house closures and that they will guarantee at least three days work per week for all permanent staff and use the services of temporary staff as often as possible.
The objectives of the 50 percent waiver on general consumption tax for these months which are traditionally low occupancy months, Finance Minister Nazim Burke said, “Is to preserve existing jobs in the tourism industry especially in the hotels and guest houses; keep the hotels and guest houses as going concerns during this economic crisis; and preserve the direct airline services negotiated by the Airlift Committee.”
The relief, which was negotiated by Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association is for the months of May and June 2009, in the first instance, and is subject to a number of conditions from hoteliers.
“They must file outstanding financial statements and corporation tax returns by hotels and guest houses. Everyone is required to file whether a tax holiday exist or not. Moreover, in some instances, tax holidays have expired but companies have not filed and paid corporate income tax,” said Tourism Minister Peter David, who explained that some companies are delinquent in tax payment notwithstanding the current provision to pay up to 60 days after the tax is collected.
According to the agreement, hoteliers accepting the discount must also disclose the salaries of shareholders and directors; disclosure the plans to attract visitors to Grenada during the off-season; provide the monthly statistics of guest to the Grenada Board of Tourism and copied to the Ministry of Finance on occupancy levels and a statement on the number of jobs provided by the industry broken down by hotel, names of employees and job categories.
Burke said that further relief for the period July to September 2009 and possibly October to December 15, 2009 will be considered in the context of the social protocol, which is presently being negotiated by government with non-governmental organizations such as the trade union movement and other stakeholders involved in national development.