Departure Tax increases at PGIA

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 31            August 3, 2000

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The Belize Airports Authority advises the public that effective August 1st, 2000 the Departure Tax rate paid by passengers at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport will increase from BZ$20 to BZ$30.

    Security Fee is separate and remains unchanged. All other provisions under the Departure Tax Act remain unchanged.

    Over the past several years, the Authority has undertaken several infrastructure projects, including Airport Terminal Building and apron expansion, construction of new taxiway and turning loops, construction of new runway in San Pedro, among others.

    At the time these improvements were undertaken, it was anticipated that the Departure Tax rate would need to be increased. The Authority has delayed the implementation of this increase for over four years.

    During this period, the Authority has had considerable success in reducing operating costs. Nevertheless, the Authority has accumulated net losses over the past three years primarily due to increased debt servicing.

    The Authority pledges to continue improving the airport facilities to ensure that all Belizeans and visitors enjoy the best of airport comfort. An improvement currently underway is to complete the air conditioning of the entire Airport Terminal Building, including all public areas.

    Even at the new rate of BZ$30 per passenger, Belize has the lowest rate in the region, with Miami at BZ$80, San Salvador at BZ$54 and Guatemala City at $BZ60.

Editors Note: In speaking with the BAA it was learned that the total Belizeans will pay upon leaving the country is $32.50 or $30 Departure Tax plus a $2.50 Security Fee. Non-Belizeans will pay these amounts plus the Protected Areas Conservation Trust fee of $7.50 for a total of $BZ40. The Belize Airport Authority is a government-owned statutory body and consequently operates on its own budget. All rate increases are in direct relation to improvements, are passed through Cabinet and are approved by the Government of Belize.



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