The Belize Tourism Industry Association issued a release today saying they do not accept exempt status under the General Sales Tax schedule. Love News spoke with BTIA President Lucy Fleming.

Lucy Fleming:

We do not accept the exempt status because it is not an equitable status for the hotel industry and the hotel sector to accept. In other words with an exempt status what we are faced with is paying in the GST but not receiving any credit at the end. So they are basically raise our costs on our production and kind of created an unfair playing field with not only the other sectors within our country but both regionally and globally. It will increase our costs and make our products a lot more expensive at the end of the day. The Belize Tourism Association as well as the Belize Hotel Association had meetings with both our Minister of Tourism and Minister Coye and we had our representative on the Tax Reform Committee with us. All along the line we have talked about our concerns and the best interest of the entire tourism community as well as the hotel sector. Also, the Belize Hotel Association also met with the prime minister. They met with him on the twenty-second and the!
y were very, very, very clear in expressing their concerns. In fact, they wrote a letter to the prime minister on the twenty-third voicing their concerns and saying that basically what we would accept within the tourism community for the hotel sector is a zero rating that basically says that we can get our tax credits at the end at the end of the day. We would even accept an increase in the hotel accommodation tax.

Lucy Fleming, President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association.