Developer admits missing payments on Ritz duty

| 13/09/2010

(CNS): In a statement criticising the recent CNS report regarding unpaid duty, the developer of the Ritz Carlton has admitted missing the last six quarterly payments owed to the public purse of $347,818. It accused this website of “inflammatory, inaccurate reporting” but did not say what was inaccurate or inflammatory about the article. The developer said the deferred duty payments owed to government began in 2005 and continued until March of 2009 when they stopped. He said this was as a result of discussions with government to restructure the payments due to the recession. “Since that application, the payments have been suspended while the request is under review by the Financial Secretary’s office – as is normal procedure in these instances,” the developer admitted but yet denied being in default.

The developer, Michael Ryan (pictured above with the premier), revealed that a formal application was not made to the Financial Secretary until September 2009, after the June payment had already been missed.
 
The developer did not say how much he was hoping to reduce the payments by and how much longer the period will be for the hotel developer to pay the outstanding $6million which is due to the public purse. “The developer is in discussions to determine the terms of the current deferral request,” the statement read. “Once these new terms have been agreed upon, payments will resume. Dragon Bay has made a proposal to the government to pay interest on the quarterly payments through March 2012, and to agree on a restructuring plan for the remaining duty balance.”
 
The default on the payments was revealed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning. When opposition member Alden McLaughlin raised the issue during question time. Premier, McKeeva Bush confirmed government was negotiating with the Ritz developer how the outstanding $6million would be paid.
 
The payments owed to government do not relate to the most recent duty concessions Dragon Bay received for the next part of the development. The outstanding $6million is part of a $10 million duty deferral given to Stingray and Condoco for the development of the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman by the government in 1997. The original terms were that the developer would begin making quarterly payments back to government over a five-year period after the hotel was completed.
 
However, as a result of delays in the construction of the hotel which Ryan said was due to Hurricane Ivan, the duty payments were the spread over a seven-year period. The developer has been making quarterly payments of CI$347,818 to the government as per the previously agreed schedule until last year just after the May 2009 election when the developer missed the June 2009 payment. McLaughlin told CNS that the payment had begun during the previous PPM administration and as far as he was aware none had been missed.
 
In his statement clarifying the situation, Ryan said Dragon Bay proposes to pay the Government interest on the quarterly payments and to agree on a restructuring plan for the remaining duty balance. He said that since the application Dragon Bay has been paying import duty for construction materials as they are received and these are not subject to the deferral provision.
 
“Dragon Bay is committed to meeting its obligations to the Cayman Islands Government, and is in no way seeking to avoid payment,” the statement read, he also added that the current Dragon Bay project on which the previous administration did give certain duty concessions will still go ahead and it would benefit both the government and the community at large.  
 
The development has met with environmental controversy recently over the removal of 300ft of mangrove buffer on the planned site and as a result of plans to dredge canals as deep as 20 feet.
 
In his statement the developer defended the Ritz-Carlton project, which he said has generated more than US$120 million annually, or about 5% of Cayman’s gross domestic product. “Every month, millions of dollars are delivered to the Government and businesses of the Cayman Islands, through fees, hotel taxes, non-deferred import duties, and purchases of local goods and services,” the developer added.
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Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a contrast between this and the lady on TV on Tuesday evening who is losing her home!

    Nobodysaid life was fair but………..

    • That is life says:

      If you don’t work you can’t expect to own your own home.  That is life.

  2. No Greener Pastures Here!! says:

    One question:

    How much more benefits, previlages, special treatment, discounts, preferential treament are we going to extend to Mr. Ryan, that is not given or extended to the average person??

     

    THank you CNS for choosing the photo to go with the storey.  I wonder if the Premier is going to deny meeting him in person too?

    • Chris Johnson says:

      The best form of defence is to attack and we cannot expect anything less from Mr Ryan. So you bloggers keep up your comments and the freedom of speech although I for one would welcome to see more names put to the articles. Apart  Peter Milburn, Tim Ridley and Lock McTavish few feel take the risk of giving names. This is very sad indeed.

      Carpe Diem

      • whistling duck says:

        It is sad, but necessary, because many are unable to fend for themselves if they do give their names. Do you think if I give my name, I will hold my job??? 

        Thank you CNS for providing bloggers the privacy to vent their freedom of speech, because "coward or no coward" who is ready to lose their job or economic stability, causing their own family to suffer for it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Johnson, you and others who feel free to use their names are clearly in a position of being untouchable. You have made your career and your wealth.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           17:01……I feel for you and all residents in The Cayman Islands for not being able to "say your peace without retaliation". This is something that many have fought for decades. Wealth has nothing to do with it because 2 of the 4 mentioned are not wealthy people. Although I believe Peter and I have a wealth of Cayman experiences. We have all suffered because we express ourselves openly. It is a belief, not a bank account. One day hopefully there will be a new generation of leaders that will allow freedom of speech. 

        • Anonymous says:

          No such thing as untouchable in the Cayman Islands Good luck to those brave or foolishenough to pen their names.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Carpe diem" is not really the right Latin tag for most of us, Chris. You and several others  –   Maples, Calder, Bruce Campbell, Jumbo Harding, David Bird, Andrew Jones, Tony Travers,Tim Ridley (and some others much less reputable) and many other lawyers and accountants, ‘seized the day" when you all came here with the skills that at the time were so much in demand ("in the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king") and you all made a huge amount of money resulting in early retirement, stupendous accommodation in gated quarters etc. I’m not criticising you all. I would have done the same in your situation and you all worked very hard for yourselves but also for the Cayman Islands.. But I came as a civil servant (before some of these mentioned) and worked, I know, just as hard , for very minimal long term financial gains and awfully modest accommodation – all I can afford.People like me have to post anonymously because we don’t have your huge resources and the accompanying self confidence that these resources bring to say what we think and put our names to it. Many years ago we all drank our pints in the Cayman Arms and, later, the Lord Nelson together, but nowadays you guys are in David Legge’s glossy magazine and I don’t even have a dinner jacket. For us, "the better part of valour is discretion" and yes, I know it is a quote from a cowardly drunken Sir John Falstaff, but alas, it fits our situation much more appositely than "carpe diem"..

        • Chris Johnson says:

          Thank you for the personal remarks but one makes one’s own bed to lie on. I chose not to be a civil servant. By the way I do not live in a gated community nor am I retired as evidenced by occasional articles in the press.The fact that I occasionally attend a charity function and feature in the press with hundreds of others is by choice and in most cases dinner jackets are not mandatory.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cris,

        don’t know who you are, but I don’t think you realize the threat to majority of us  (I assume) that post.  Crikey, we’re talking about people that do the shadiest, shakiest things right out in  public.  I’m half scared that some how they’ll find out who is posting what somehow anyway.

      • Pauly Cicero says:

        I feel relatively safe because I died in prison a few years ago.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a mess! And btw I love the irony between the photo and article.

    They really believe that somewhere such as the Ritz Carlton cannot afford to make their payments because of the recession? And some poor people here are forced to pay exorbitant fee increases ie. customs duty, gas, electricity etc… Such is life.

    • Tim Ridley says:

      Although I hold no brief for the Ritz Carlton, I think it is important and only fair to distinguish between the hotel management company (part of the Marriott Group) whose name is on the hotel facility and Mr Ryan and his various companies involved in the real estate development. The problem of the concessions, deferrals and non payments rests with Mr Ryan’s side NOT with the hotel company. 

  4. Anonymous says:

     "If you are really that concerned about security, cash out your bank accounts and bury your money in a shoebox. Of course, the spy satellites will probably pick that up, too."

    CNS put this in the Comedy Comments.  I almost died laughing.

    • anonymous says:

      This premier keeps selling us out THERE’S NOTHING LEFT!

      He has no shame!  would he hug a Caymanian that owed Government millions of dollars?

      No that Caymanian would be prosecuted and disgraced.

      this is no more our country.

    • anonymous says:

       CNS your comments on the Ryan Bush Vogue magazine posture seems to be intercepted by the Premier. You stopped at 32 comments, that’s unheard of it must be up to 132 by now.!  This is a hot topic!

      Let us read the comments please, all of them. I ‘m getting calls that all is not being published by CNS.

      Did the premier fool CNS asking them to stop the comments promising a Town Hall meeting? 

      Oh please, its the same number they played on Chuckie when he wanted to March. the PPM scre**d him on one end and the UDP on the other.

      No games. CNS come on  let us know what’s going on.

      CNS: Sorry, the moderating is just one of my jobs and sometimes I have to do the others.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have never liked rich kids……but I always wanted to be one. Sigh.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a loving picture!

      Pity it wasn’t a Caymanian getting all the "perks" and be able to have his arm around the Premier.

      But then again, you don’t get the recognition and Condos from having a Caymanian with their arm around you.

      Two Alike!

      • Anonymous says:

        Pity it wasn’t a Caymanian with his arms around the Premier?

        Perhaps you missed the Extraordinary Gazette of December 31, 2003. LOL.

    • Anonymous says:

      Two Peaches!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS, did you stop Michael Ryan and The Ritz from making these payments?

      I think not, but in as typical fashion of the Premier, Mr. Ryan attacks CNS for reporting the facts to the Cayman people.

      Thank you CNS for exposing the injustice that takes place under this administration.

      I have noticed that the only time that CNS is attacked, is when the truth has come out and the truth has stepped on someones toes.

      You keep dropping the truths and facts in our laps CNS!

    • Anonymous says:

      How can Mr. Ryan claim the "recession" has caused him and Government to restructure his payments and he has gone forward with a new development, The Dragon Bay.

      Come on Mr. Ryan, we are not stupid and "time is longer dan rope" and you and Mr. Bush will not be able to pull the wool over our eyes forever.

      • KY says:

        Maybe because busines has to continue. When a recssion and losses hit a company do you expect them to sit back til they go bust or to try and find new revenue streams to stay in business.

        Dragon Bay has been planned for a long time, and probably had customers lined up and expenses already committed pulling out at that stage would just spell the end

  6. Carlos Pollo says:

    Just you wait til China comes to Cuba… then you’ll see some investments here…

  7. Anonymous says:

    nice phote ; Dude and Sweet, from the movie ‘Dude, Where’s My Country’….. an den?

    • Anonymous says:

      i thought it was ‘Dude, Where’s My Mangrove?’ ….. anyway, one of my favorite movies, and two great actors 

  8. Sir Henry Morgan says:

    Recession my foot! Mr. Ryan still opts to drive his boat to work rather than get stuck in traffic like the rest of us. His boat which burns probably 50galons of fuel per hour… Yeah he is really hurting!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if I can go to the bank & get a deferral on my payments because of the recession? Furthermore, I wonder if I can go to government & get a deferral on my payments because of the recession? What is the difference between me & Michael Ryan? Money? Or is it that I am a born & raised Caymanian? I wonder, Mr. Premier!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, did I read wrong his payments have been deferred since 2005? or 2009?  Nevertheless who can go to the bank and say hi I can’t make any payments now so please don’t take my house/car and sell it, please wait till I can start making payments, maybe next year or the year after!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a farce.  Didn’t this Hotel win the best Ritz Carlton of the world award sometime ago.  How can they do this and owe money to a little island like ours. 

    Another thing, how come the small business owners don’t get to import their stuff and pay for it latter as they collect revenue from their customers like this hotel does.  If the government is allowing these developers to do this then surely the government is assisting these devvelopers in competing against other developers which then makes it unfair.

     

    yet another sign of why this country is going to crap.  It’s time for some change however will change really come as long as we can jump on here in the comfort of our airconditioned homes or offices and complain. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ryan, Mr. Bush

    It doesn’t matter how you try to rationalize away the fact that the so badly needed cash payments have been deferred due to a recession, and that some individuals seems to have the power to negotiate payment options.

    The FACT is that every other hardworking individual has been FORCED to pay INCREASED duty due to the recession. So please do not insult our intelligence.

    Please give up the private plane and any other unnecessary luxuries at this time to do what is right!

    We honest people pay our duty, it hurts, but at least we can look in the mirror every day and don’t have to be disgusted.

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow.. Two Good ole Boys! There is nothing better than two good old friends to solve problems together..

  12. Anonymous says:

    So all I have to do is apply for my financial obligations to be reviewed and I can stop payments until a decision is made by a foot-dragging government?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all banks worked like that?

    This sounds like an interest fee loan granted by the First Cayman Bank of McKeeva.

     

  13. whistling duck says:

    CNS

    It won’t be too long before you are unable to whistle your free speech. I fear for the IP addresses and personal information. All you need is money and/or power and people’s right can be easily infringed upon. The Premier and his cronies has already on their side CCTV camaras, lie detector tests, investigators for their cause, and money and more monies coming in.

    They are only few of us whistling duck’s left. I suggest we whistle but we fly low, and learn from the white owl, which sees everything but comes around at nights when everybody is sleeping

    CNS: Since we do not require any personal information and store only the most recent two hours worth of IP address based information, which is then purged, the scenario in which the identity of commenters who do not include their names and email addresses could be retrieved at a later date is impossible. The CNS site is also hosted in the US and no one has access to it except us.

    • Truly 100% Caymanian:) says:

      FYI – I hit the like comment for CNS’ reply!

    • . says:

      "The CNS site is also hosted in the US and no one has access to it except us."

      Presumably you manage your site personally, so that you can review the comments and approve or reject them. 

      It is also safe to presume that you do so over the internet.  That leads to the conclusion that you have access to the internet from a local internet service provider ("ISP"), over which all your internet traffic flows. 

      The ISP can watch the traffic if they want (we all know they have that ability), so the question is, can they look at your log-in scripts and passwords?  If so, guss who else is watching your site and the IP addresses of the incoming traffic

      CNS: Paranoia is boundless! What you are suggesting is the equivalent of ‘the government is tapping everyone’s phone line, reading all of your mail, bugging your house and videotaping you as well’. Could be, not likely. The comment about login-scripts is off target, no – ‘they’, the ISP, cannot look at the login scripts – only the datagrams that pass between the scripts and the user. The vulnerability is that the datagrams do ultimately contain usernames and passwords if ‘they’ can successfully reconstruct the datagrams. Ultimately, everything in a computer is vulnerable. If you are really that concerned about security, cash out your bank accounts and bury your money in a shoebox. Of course, the spy satellites will probably pick that up, too.

      Deep packet inspection is a potential threat to privacy but if you remember the ICTA denied ISPs permission to use it (see ICTA upholds net neutrality). By the way, we use LIME which had not implemented DPI at any time.

  14. Anonymouse says:

    Hahahahaha. That picture will make a wonderful election poster. Keep it coming CNS. I am finally awake now.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is the same individual that our Premier keeps appointing to committees to to advise the nation on how to get on firm financial footing.

     It is clearthat under the current leadership Cayman is now a country  "Of the rich, by the rich and for the rich".

    The well being of the people and our natural resources do not figure into their equation at all.

     

  16. noname says:

    If $120m is generated by the Ritz-Carlton then surely the payment of $347,000 per quarter is a drop in the ocean.

    As to ‘immflamatory reporting’ that is nonsense.Sounds like another person that does not like reporting.

    Keep up the good work Wendy. Non Illegitimae Carborundum.

  17. Me says:

    Can anyone let me know how I can go about getting duty on purchases deferred indefinitely? I plan on a Miami shopping spree in a couple of weeks and this info would come in handy. Thanks

    • The Accountant says:

      Make a $700 million dollar investment in the economy of the Cayman Islands, and build a high-end facility that will allow large international conferences…….and then we can talk about concessions.   Concessions are common in every country to developers willing to risk capital and invest substantially in a local economy.   Go anywhere in the world……and you will see ALL governments provide concessions/incentives.  

      The developers of the Ritz have paid millions to the the government, both in direct and indirect duties, and direct and indirect work permit fees.   Large international conferences and conventions would not come to the Cayman Islands without a development such as the Ritz (sorry, Marriott and Westin just dont cut it).  

      You do realize that if this development did not occur, the government and the people of the Cayman Islands would have got nothing.   With this development, the gov’t and people received substantial benefit.  Therefore, at the margin, if some concessions are provided, the gov’t and people are still substantial net gainers.  

      This IS the way governments work everywhere.  Do you think Japanese auto manufacturers set up plants in Tennessee 20 years ago at random?

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree about the concessions, but this does not remove their ongoing financial responsibilities.

  18. Tracy from Swamp says:

    Sucking up.    Blah, blah, blah,  excuses, excuses, excuses. for the rich and famous..  What happen to the poor man who gets his lights and water turned off when he misses out one month paymet.  Yet the Ritz can get deffered duty payments because of recession.

    • Anonymous says:

      The poor man risked nothing !!!

      • Tracy from Swamp says:

        The poor men and women risked their lives on sea and war, batteling huricanes,fear and stressed,  away long years from seeing their families. They built this country when there was nothing to get in return.

        New commers dug up, and broke down our heritage, took away our cultre and took their risk only for their own  benefit, contentment an wealth, in return being selfish to those who made the foundation of Cayman Islands.

        Thats the risk you took.

        • Anon says:

          So, you want to go back to fishing, thatch rope and turtling to sustain yourself? The country needs investment, my dear. Those who invest, whether it be money, time, blood, sweat and tears, have all contributed to what Cayman is today.

           

          Of course, I am not advocating that Mr Ryan should not pay what he is due – pay up!

          • Anonymous says:

             "fishing, thatch rope and turtling to sustain yourself?"

            1. There is nothing wrong with any of those if it puts food on the table.

            2. The men that went to sea did more than those things stated above.  My father was in the US Merchant Marines which means he supplied ammunition to England in order for her to fight Germany so you see he helped fight for our freedom.

            He also invested that hard earned money into a home, a  business and numerous investments in land.  

            Honestly, we would be better off if we lived off the land.  Grow our own food and eat from the sea.