Bermuda’s Chamber holds no bars with their Premier, the Hamilton NGO issues its Budget wish list

As Hamilton’s Budget looms closer, their Chamber Of Commerce has clear plans to help the NGO surge ahead in 2014 as we learn in this Update from the Bermuda Sun;-

Chamber of Commerce President, Mr. Ronnie Viera, speaking on behalf of some divisions of the Chamber, in highlighting the local business wish list for 2014 budget:

Bermudian Finance Minister, Bob Richards... Viera's request continues - "In general, it is our hope that a clear statement from the Finance Minister will be made on when Bermuda can expect to see a balanced budget, with plans for addressing this now and in the immediate future.

Bermudian Finance Minister, Bob Richards… Viera’s request continues – “In general, it is our hope that a clear statement from the Finance Minister will be made on when Bermuda can expect to see a balanced budget, with plans for addressing this now and in the immediate future.

With regard to further stimulus to the Real Estate sector, our members would like to see an amendment to the current regulations to create more international demand for Bermuda real estate.

• Create clear rules to allow foreign exempt companies, which meet certain criteria, to purchase residential properties.

• Allow Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) holders to purchase any property on the Island.

Lower the tax payable by non-Bermudians to purchase property on the Island; raising the Stamp Duty for foreign purchasers a few percentage points instead.

• Allow existing foreign property owners, who have bought and sold a Bermuda property, to purchase new property without again going through the cumbersome permission process.

The abolition of the need to sit the local driving test, if one already holds an internationally recognized driving licence.

In the Retail Sector the membership would like to see an extension of the existing tax exemptions and duty relief.

• Extend the payroll tax exemption for employers and employees, to keep Bermudians employed and to keep businesses operating, allowing them to shore up the social and commercial viability of Bermuda as a business and tourist destination.

• Extend the duty relief granted on all upgrades, refurbishment and new business on fixtures, fittings for new installations, which are essential to keep retail relevant in today’s market.

In the Restaurant sector, continue the existing tax relief

• Extend the payroll tax relief (i.e. the waiver of the employer portion) to restaurants. This relief has contributed to the end of erosion in top-line revenues over 2012-2013.

We are very much looking forward to the 2014 budget and will have an opportunity to ask questions and get further clarification from the Finance Minister at our annual Budget Breakfast on Monday 24th of February.”

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