CIG to stop Dart 50% tax gift

| 13/08/2013

(CNS): The new Cayman Islands PPM government says it is standing firm over its objection to the former UDP administration’s decision to allow the Dart Group to take half of the tax it collects in all its hotels and tourism accommodation over the next decade as part of the ForCayman Investment Alliance. Kurt Tibbetts, the Progressive’s former leader of government business and veteran politician who has returned to the planning ministry, said that government is currently in talks with the islands’ largest developer to try and reshape the agreements signed before the current government came to office. He said the tax rebate was unfair to existing hoteliers and had created a sense of expectation with new ones.

Although a reversal of the West Bay Road closure now appears to be impossible, Tibbetts said he was trying to put the negotiations to bed and improve on other areas. Speaking at the PPM’s National Council Meeting on Saturday night, the planning minister warned that the things which were done before the election could not be undone.

Nevertheless, Cabinet’s most experienced minister said that there were several other things that were not yet etched in stone and it was important that government did what it could to prevent the country being the loser in the deal, which was signed in December 2011.

Tibbetts said that as the developer has now completed the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension, the group was anxious for it to open but it would not be gazetted until the parties had reached an agreement on all of the elements.

“We don’t want to deal with things piecemeal and we need agreement on everything,” he said, as he promised to reveal everything in detail once the talks were finished. ”Some things can't be undone,” he added, referring to earlier agreements. But with the recent stalemates on the verbal agreements, Tibbetts said government was trying to restructure the deal so Cayman would be better off.

He pointed to the proposed tax rebate for Dart of 50% of the accommodation tax for ten years, which he said was unfair to other hoteliers. But it didn’t end there: “Every developer who comes to us wants this now,” Tibbetts noted. This was a matter that government had insisted must be changed and he hoped to have some agreement by next week, which would be made public since they had nothing to hide. In addition, Tibbetts promised that government would monitor local employment closely and said that Dart was aware the CIG would be watching work permits.

“I don't want anything from them personally; I only want what is best for my country,” the minister said at the meeting to loud applause. “We will defend our wicket to ensure the country doesn't get bowled out.”

Updating the public and party faithful on other matters in his ministry, Tibbetts said there were other potential developments in the pipeline. Government has met with several entities that are looking to do business in Cayman, some of which had been waiting for the outcome of the election as they had been uncomfortable with how things had been going, he said.

He announced a planned $15 million renovation of the Marriott Hotel, which has been bought by a group of investors that also involves Caymanians. The had also been approached regarding a 5-star Conrad-Hilton in Beach Bay, a golf resort in Frank Sound and a $360 million development with a 15 year long plan, along with Dart's hotel plans, a hotel at the Shetty hospital site in East End and other potential plans. Tibbetts said government was interested in sustainable developments, which would be well timed. 

The planning minister said he could not say that all of these projects would happen but there was interest again. However, government would be ensuring that due diligence would be done as it wanted to see the “right type of development" and promised it would not “giveaway the shop".

Tibbetts said government would make sure Caymanians benefited from any development, with employment for local people a priority. He also said he would be looking out to make sure the country does not bite off more than it can chew.

“We are not going to make any decisions that look good today and that will do harm down the line,” he said, as he promised to discuss with the public about all major projects or development plans.

Talking more broadly about the government he was now a part of, he said it was “early days” but he was excited by the commitment from everyone in all areas of the new government.

“We will see good results; we just need a little bit of patience,” he added. “We may not have been as accessible as people would have liked but it’s been rough,” he said, explaining that the new government had a lot to grapple with when it took office and it was intent on making the right decisions. He said it would not be much longer before people would see the country moving forward fairly steadily.

Related articles on CNS:

Dart to take 50% taxes

PWC reveals risks Dart deal

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Category: Politics

Comments (148)

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  1. pmilburn says:

    Even though I too am against this road closure by the Dart Group I feel there is room for compromise.Before all you nay sayers get into this hear me out.In several countries I have been to over the years there are many cities that offer a one way system on certain roads to ease traffic problems.This could easily be applied here(provided both parties agree to work on it)For the early 700 am rush hour traffic comes one way into the seven mile beach area from west bay and turns east near the proposed new hotel near public beach and then joins the by pass as normal They will however have to return to the roundabout to continue towards town..At say 400pm the traffic reverts back to one way going north.This is controlled by a traffic light and works in ALL the places I have seen it used.People would have to get used to the idea if they still wish to travel along the excisting west bay road but my belief is that most cars will use the new by-pass for greater effect in getting to town etc in a more timely manner.The folks who still wish to enjoy whats left of the view along west bay road will use this route.This is not a perfect answer but I feel it can work BUT it takes two to tango.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Stop with the road . You all have lost. The people using the road already see the difference. No more waiting for you all putting on makeup. Want to see the beach ? Stop at Handel's place or the other bar, have a pina colada and watch the sun go down in a beach chair and talk about your grandchildren. Mr. Dart going to be hiring them if they qualified full time with medical insurance and a true cost of living wage.

    The 4000 people changed their mind. God Bless you and your families have a good life.

  3. Anon says:

     

    Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/13/2013 – 06:50.
     
    agree with this poster. I have been saying this since this whole debacle began. It is a piece of road, is not our heritage.  For God's sake, look at all the Caymanian values that have been lost in the name of progress, why aren't the people screaming about the gangs, young people being addicted to drugs, teenage pregnancies, illitarate children ggraduating from our public schools. 
     
  4. Anonymous says:

    NO ONE SHOULD BE GETTING CIG $$! they should be mutal ground but not selling out our country!  caymanian

  5. Chris says:

    PPM, STAND YOUR GROUND!

    PPM we want the Road back, no excuses.

    Its not impossible and it is very necessary. 

    Even if it comes down to a law suit, according to the same NRA agreement, the Government was not getting much in exchange for the portion of West Bay Road.

    Breach the contract if necessary! This country has paid millions for Premier Bush's decisions where we got nothing in return.

    Its a much better idea to breach this contract even if we have to pay 10 or 15 million dollars to get our road back.

    CIG can pay it over time in duty  concessions to DART. This way no cash has to be passed. No need for tax increases. 

  6. Datisme says:

    The only people  left that would do any business in the Cayman islands is the Chinese.  And the Caymanians.  Wait.  Is there ANY Caymanians with money that would do business here?  Why isn't Bush building a hotel with his money?  Wait.  Heees broke.  OK just the Chinese.  Or maybe North Korea.

  7. JJTA says:

    Boycott Dart

  8. Whodatis says:

    Furthermore, I am not overly bothered if DART decides to not build his hotel / resort as a result of this move by CIG. (Not because of who he is, but because the concept works contrary to the path I would prefer Cayman takes going forward.)

    For some time I have expressed a wish to see more; cottage / B&B types of accommodation, an extension to the runway and airport facilities (as opposed to cruise berthings), and more focus on our healthy stayover tourism – all in a manner that best serves as many Caymanians (and of course tourists) as possible.

    Anything apart from that ultimate objective is simply ludicrous and stinks of typical, over-commercialised caplitalism (and globalization) run amock … as seen in so many other places.

    Our tourism product is in dire need of re-Caymanization which demands greater effort on the part of CIG and the Caymanian people. (My words would be the same regardless of the country in question.)

    E.g. When one visits the UK, Greece, Spain and Italy as a tourist today one is greeted by an overwhelming number of Indian, Chinese and Eastern European workers. There is hardly a need to learn the most basic phrases in those languages anymore because the majority of the staff do not speak them either. I spoke better Spanish than practically every server during my last trip.

    *Bear in mind the economic situation and alarming unemployment figures in the aforementioned countries! (Brits, let us pretend the UK is not included in that last statement … not in the mood to fight today. Ok?)

    (Translation: What is taking place in those countries is now taking root in ours as well. Virtual slave labour (unlivable wages) taken up by foreigners with a short-term hustle-plan … willing to severely "rough it out" until the time to return home – or some other life "circumstance".)

    Cayman, we need to be careful and fearless as we plan the future of our country and children.

    Most crucial in all of this is the willingness and ability for Caymanians to see the value and potential in all sectors of our national economy and act accordingly. If we fail to do so and things do not work out in the long run it will be our own fault.

    That being said, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to convince a one-dimensional person (e.g. untraveled, inexperienced, brainwashed) that there is a better or other way forward.

    Moreso when the current reward for going against the grain is a salary below what a normal Caymanian way of life requires, i.e. not sleeping 8 adults to one bedroom.

    This is where developers and business owners enter the equation. Human nature is that of greed however, we are now feeling the socioeconomic fallout of that nature byway of a rise in crime, disconnected youths, disenfranchisement of the local community etc. … all things that should be the greatest fears of every investor in the world today.

    Personally, I do not believe that the 3 main components (CIG, Caymanians and developers) in our tourism industry specifically have done their best to ensure the best possible outcome for all concerned.

    I sincerely hope we get it together.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no end to whodatis talent. Now a tourism expert as well as expert in failings of the British empire!

      • Anonymous says:

         ….. and the trappings and inner workings of911.

      • Whodatis says:

        How does this add to the discussion?

        You would have been better off just ignoring my post.

        Do you feel better now that you have achieved nothing but let everyone know how much you dislike Whodatis?

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis, could you please enlighten us to what "re-Caymanianization" is?

      Do you mean the likes of the Treasure Island or the old Holiday Inn? Both of these places were flithy, grubby, poorly managed and disgrace to the word "hotel".

      I remember in the 80's booking my first vacation via the Swiss travel company KUONI to the glorious island in the Caribbean – Grand Cayman. My 4 star hotel was the beach front resort of the Ramanda Treasure Island Hotel.

      After being dropped off in the lobby and waiting for ages to get checked in whilst the desk clerk ignored me and chatted to her local man friend leaning over the counter uttering suggestive remarks and strong language. After 25 minutes I made my way up to my room. I was greeted by plates of rotting food on the floor left outside rooms in the heat along the open passage way to the dark and dingy damp smelling room that was to be my resort suite.  I paid handsomely for this vacation and I went downstairs to complain. Lots of sucking of teeth and huffing and puffing but it was high season and no other rooms were available.

      I left the hotel without staying a single night. I was about to go back to the airport and get the next flight back to Miami. But someone in the lobby overheard my genuine distress and recommended that I go to the Hyatt Regency Hotel – which I did. I paid for two vacations that time and I never got a nickle back from the Ramada Hotel.

      I did however fall in love with Cayman and made many investments here over the years. How easily that could have all changed if I had managed to get back to the airport after my initial experience. I just hope your re-Caymanianization is not like the Treasure Island Resort!

      • Whodatis says:

        Actually, I was not referring to your personal and unsubstantiated claims of a rare bad experience – most likely from a time before I was even born.

        Instead I was referring to the locally-owned tourism businesses and operations that have received thousands of positive customer reviews on industry-leading websites like Trip Advisor that as a result have found themselves rated as the best in the region and world.

        Any further questions?

        • Anonymous says:

          Whodatis – I checked Trip Advisor and the number one small hotel type business is The Turtle Nest Inn in Bodden Town – owned and operated by a nice Canadian family.

          I believe the large hotel type voted Number One in the Cayman Islands is the Ritz-Carlton.

          I am all in favor of locally-owned tourism. People like to experience a country for what it is. However, we need also to address the issue of customer service in the hospitality industry. We need a proper training college to provide on going training to our new school leavers and unemployed youth.

          One without the other will just make matters worse.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Apart from the obvious political shenanigans of the past, why did no civil servant Chief Officer have the brass to stand up to these foilables – instead of rubber stamping everything that crossed their desk with a grin?

    They obviously have not earned their positions, so let's not forget to deal with these over-entitled ones still feasting at the public trough. 

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva and Dart  or any other person should have the right to give away the Tourist Accommodation Tax.  That money assists the government in maintenance of the airport and port.  This is the first time in my 69 years that I have read this kind of deal.  I spent a lot of years working in hotels and dealing with the Tourist Accommodation Tax.  That was one monthly payment to the Government that had to be reconciled and copies of folios submitted to verify the amount being paid.  McKeeva was a minister during the few years before I retired, and his office audited the TAT every moonth to ensure that the government was getting what was theirs.  How, then can this illiterate money-grubber decide to give away that government revenue?

  11. Knot S Smart says:

    I would expect that the first thing Govt should do is request a Judicial Review to find out whether these agreements signed by the NRA were in fact legal agreements…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Many people think that Dart is making millions in Cayman. Reality is he will never pay back for Camana Bay given those rents. Having spent over $650,000,000 there to date his rents would have to be north of a $1000 per square foot to start to recoup that…we know its not that…so this silly idea that Dart is making so much money here is simply illogical. Caymanians think before you post silly comments.. Dart's money kept this island afloat since 2005 whether you want to beleive it or not. No Caymanian, not the Fosters, the Kirkconnells, the Merrens etc have the money needed to keep this island operating as it does. Be logical.

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      Anonymous 14:44 sounds like one of Dart's shills.  I wonder where he got the $650,000,000 figure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart loses money??? Be logical?? Uh, okay, whatever you say. 

  13. Whodatis says:

    It is at times like these when it becomes glaringly obvious that the common motivation of a large share of CNS readership and posters is anti-Caymanian-ness.

    Honestly, so much of the content within these posts are so hypocritical and defies the logic of decent and even marginally educated people it is ridiculous.

    Seriously … you guys are amazing!!

    Nevertheless, keep on bringing forth those true colors – it helps us all see how we should analyze your group-think in regards to other issues that concern Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lo and behold! Lord Whodatis, Prince of Darkness has spoken and put us in our places.

      The battle on here about Dart is not about Dart or Mac at all…it is about progress versus regression, about transparency versus opaque. 99% of people on here want transparency. 99% want a fair and balanced deal for Cayman and Dart (no one would be interested if it was all Caymans way). 90% want progress. Whodatis chooses to interpret that as anti-cayman sentiment. Go figure….actually, don't bother, you will all be wasting your time. You cannot argue with madmen.

      • UH UH UH says:

         This is to all those who constantly talk about progress with out thinking! 

        Just keep this in mind! Every train that ran off its track, every plane that crashed, and every person who failed to listen to good advice, and died doing something stupid were all making progress. What 14:03 seems to think is, that, more is better, bigger is better and that progress is always good, and the more one has, the happier one becomes! .  

        I lived on this island when there was no foreign nationals needed to work. We had a big enough local work force to do what ever was necessary. We had no crime as we know it  today, people were poor but happy. We respected others even if we disagreed with their philosophy. There was no police force as we know it today, yet crime was nonexistent and everyone was HAPPY.

        We were known as the Island time forgot, and as a teenager working in a hotel I carried the luggage of  movie stars, US supreme court justices, lords & ladies and we had no specific training other than what we learned on the job. No one complained about service, they loved the simple mannerly way that the staff of the hotel performed their duties. It was not uncommon for guests in each room to leave hundreds of dollars to be shared with the service staff. And when they left there were hugs and kisses all around given by guests and staff alike. Because it all felt like a family separation. That's how is was back then!   

        Then Came those who convinced us that we needed more, did not matter what it was as long as it was more, and more money. And so began life in these Islands as we know it today.

        So please refrain from utterances such as uttered in the post above and learn to listen. Maybe then someone will listen to whatever you have to say. Progress isn't always good, better or best, unless its controlled by proper planning, and careful implementation. 

    • SSM345 says:

      "so hypocritical and defies the logic of decent and even marginally educated people it is ridiculous."

      Described yourself to a T.

    • Anonymous says:

      want some cheese with that whine?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, not anti Caymanian, anti you!

      You by your own childish utterances have produced this antipathy, dont blame your fellow countrymen!

    • Whodatis says:

      *is

    • Datisme says:

      Whodatis why is it that Caymanians are not into developing these islands themselves?  They obviously do not want anyone else to do it.  Is no development a good thing here?  Is it because they are still spending all their money on finishing the schools? Caymanian workers and companies right?  We all know that you can put down the UK with the best of them.  Can you find something you like about Caymanians?  Show us all the great things Caymanians are doing for themselves by themselves.  Seriously!

      • Anonymous says:

        You may want to probe into that question yourself. Why aren't they into development?? Good question!  But if theyare not into it, why are you here trying to change them. Probe that one too. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Let's all go to Run Down together.

       

      Laughter can take the edge off well meaning constructive conflict on both sides.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gotta agree there.  I think, philosophically, that a lot of these comments are driven by fear. There are some transplants here that have a pretty good life and feal threatened that they're going to loose their good thing. Some of the other comments I think are just made by angry, spiteful, people. BTW, neither side is exempt from these motivations.  – work permit expat

    • Whodatis says:

      I would just like to say "thank you" to the respondents that proved my point.

      So much hate exists in the heart of some CNS contributors that they cannot even control themselves to resist further exposure.

      Like Bob famously said:

      "Ah say me trow me corn … me nah call no fowl!"

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you really a caymanian? Do you work for a living? Do you only find something wrong with Dart? What's wrong with english people? Is their a little skeleton in your closet that's  trying to come out? Are you prejudice? I have been reading your letters sometimes and I may agree with some of what you say. But then you say something ,always something, that makes me think you have a problem. Boss man you need to check what you saying. If you need to address that skeleton in your closet , address the skeleton. Leave the prejudice home. 

        • Whodatis says:

          I'm sorry, but you're going to have to talk straight with me before we can thoroughly engage in this discussion.

          Come out with it – what is it you want to know – and most importantly, why do you feel the way you do?

          (Examples (perhaps excerpts from my previous posts that you took issue with) would help a great deal in this endeavour.

          • Anonymous says:

            The usual cop-out.

            • Whodatis says:

              Not a cop-out at all.

              The poster's comment were rather vague and out of context.

              Btw, you of all people know I am not one to run from a debate.

              That being said a bit of clarity on what is being debated goes a long way.

  14. Kmanlady says:

    PPM Government:

    We the people do NOT WANT to hear that there is not much can be done with this Dart  Deal:

    Over 4000 people sign the petition to stop this deal…What has happening to those signatures? Are you guys  refusing to listening to us. We want our Beach & Road Back.

    We the people expect you the Government to stop this deal all together as you and us knows is was not in the interest to the people but the developer and the UDP cronies.

    I am sure that the people of the  Caymanian people who have tireless tried to stop this deal will appreciate that we just return the US$5mil deposit to the developer, and please don't  tell me that we can't afford it.  Refresh your memory with all of the unnecessary lawsuits that we have and are paying for because of our previous Government STUPID decisions.  We the people are paying for them…NOW for once let us pay for something that we the people wants back and that is our public beach and the portion of west bay road.

    PPM: do not be another UDP…look out for your people for we have had enough of hard times, and we believe in you ONCE again and has given you chance…do what is right for this Country and it's people…

    1) Give us back our road and public beach

    2) Do NOT approve the 10yr rollover police with the rights for residency after….

    We are watching your every move.

    TAKE HEED AND LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE  OF THIS COUNTRY….

     

    • SSM345 says:

      Return the deposit?

      Errr, thats not how the real world works unfortunately. You think Cayman has seen a lawsuit? Wait till DART has had enough.

      Things like this happen when you put a complete moron in charge of a country's business. Everyone outside of WB can point their fingers and say we told you so umpteen times before to keep Mac and his moronic Yes Men out of government, but ohh nooo, washing machines and the like were always worth it.

      I am still waiting on one of these persons who are for this disruption in our countries development to tell me why they never said anything when the rest of WB road was being torn up and developed. Anyone? Why wait until the last shred until you made any noise?

      It reminds me of a saying, you snooze, you lose.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please remember that Mac majority was not formed with the four members from West Bay.  It took the voters in the other districts to elect the additional "Yes Men" needed for him to assume his self appointed dictator role.  Please place the blame where it is due. I is not all West Bay fault.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          If Mac did not come with 4 votes from WB he would have no say, period. WBers are to blame. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cayman must understand the entity it is dealing with and look at the difficulties other countries are having with DART

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-21/billionaire-dart-s-argentine-foam-cup-unit-raided-by-tax-agents 

    • Anonymous says:

      Give is a rest Argentina needs just like anyone else including you and me needs to pay back money they borrow..Dart loaned it to them so they need to pay it back that's the bottom line…If you borrow money from the bank don't blame them when they ask you to pay it back…

  16. Anonymous says:

    It seems as though the only party trying to constantly change the already agreed upon deal is CIG. 

    Governments throughout the world give concessions to developers in order to spur development and growth within the community.  It is better to have 50% ofsomething than 100% of nothing.  Growth and quality of life are paramount to the stability of the island long term. 

    It seems asthough many narrow minded people here cannot look at the big picture here.  Dart already employs many locals (and expats, too) and I see the trend continuing with this hotel.  There will be many jobs for Caymanians when the hotel is opened.

    But from where I sit, it would appear that Dart has lived up to his part of the agreement.  There is a lot more value for money long term that will benefit this island for a long time.  Improved roads and infrastructure have been needed for a long time, and the only person doing it is Dart.  CIG certainly is not.  A little bit of road being closed for the development of a quality hotel that will benefit everyone and (at last) proper roads into one of the population centres of the Island (West Bay) are long overdue.  When was the last time CIG told you that they would do these roads?  It has been going on for over 30 years.

    Get over it.

    • Anonymous says:

      DART blogger and PR department at work again.

      • Anonymous says:

        So everyone that disagrees with you is immediately assumed to be Dart's PR department?  Delusional. 

      • Anonymous says:

        caymanian backward blogger at work again who is unable to address the issue…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart is not complaining because he is in the 'run' portion of the 'take the money and run' ploy.

      GET SMART over it

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you frightened? If you are,  you should maybe take a look at that as you'd be making statements based from fear. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Dart PR machine

      We have further proof of your corporate ideology and intent for Cayman.

      Please go to CNS Business section and explain this to the Caymanian people.

      http://cnsbusiness.com/content/dart’s-argentine-unit-raided-tax-agents

       

    • Anonymous says:

      lol. Why in hell would Dart complain? It is entirely one-sided in his favour.  

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Your reasoning is a prime example of the old saying: "“If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh_t".    While I agree that "it is better to have 50% of something than 100% of nothing", your argument is founded on the assumption that Dart is the only developer willing to invest here. Rubbish! 

      You cleverly constructed your argument for the sole purpose of instilling the suggestion that we must allow our land and our people to be prostituted to the Great Mercantile God who comes with suitcases filled with dollars and if we dare to offend him we will be left destitute. To me your reasoning is repugnant!  Such thinking denigrates this land and its people and suggests that the only investor who sees any value in these islands is Dart. Such thinking leads to self doubt and a lowering of our sense of self  esteem and self worth. Which is why I am exposing it for the tripe that it is.  
       

      Dart came and saw opportunity to further enrich his already bursting coffers. One reason that Dart gained such a foothold here is that Mac paved the way for him to become the unchallenged prime developer and touted Dart above all else, coddling him and setting him up as as the economic Messiah of the Cayman Islands. But Mac and the administrations who pandered to Dart's ambitions lacked the imagination and leadership to focus on legislation and creating an investment climate that would make these islands attractive to global inward investment.   One healthy step forward is weaning ourselves off an undue dependance of Dart.  Repeal of the 50% split is a good beginning. There will be life after Dart.

  17. Life101 says:

    Blah blah blah blah blah…Now PLEASE  OPEN up the last piece of the highway cause I'm sick of driving down Willie Farrington.

    • And another Ting says:

      Mr T. ina his usual getting to the heart sppech " willnot allow cayman to get bowled over".  what will stop us from getting bowled over if they stop resting on other government laurels,; these projects were in the wings during the UDP government, some of them engendered by the UDP, so stop chat as if you are working ya butt off.

      I agree that its is possible that the MInisters on a whole have impressive credentials, but that does not make jobs or feed people, their acumen along with broad base consultatiion and inclusiveness of the non government back benchers/opposition members is what is going to make this country grow.

      So Mr. T your experience and all get with the program and unite all for the better good. And another Ting.

    • BORN FREE says:

      That is GREAT, GREEEEEAT news, why should Cayman allow the rich to get richer while we, Cayman & the Cayman people, get poorer? Dart is richer than our government, so why should we give away anything to him, muchless a 50% tax gift? Our government needs that money, not Dart! Shame, SHAME, shame on Mckeeva Bush & the UDP government for giving away so much to Dart (who already owns too much of Cayman), & a big THANK YOU & CONGRATULATIONS to the PPM for standing firm & looking out for Cayman & the Cayman people! THANK YOU!

    • Anonymous says:

      Reason i love Mr. Dart very much is him only employeer giving free Medical care to his workforce. Him and ofcourse Govment. Other companies are happy to have you sick at home than pay medical ……..

  18. No longer coming to the Caman Islands says:

    Isn't the harsh reality that the accommodation tax needs reviewing anyway. Hotel rooms in the Cayman Islands are already too expensive without hitting visitors for another 10%. If you want to boost stayover tourism that needs to be changed.

    • Discus Ted says:

      A very good idea! Take away the accomodation tax and DART get 50% of zero. Govt can then create a new revenue measure or tack on a little more tax elsewhere if absolutely necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the 15% service charge added to your bill…for what???? For checking in??? Never seen that anywhere else..

      • Doctor Foamy says:

        You are misinformed. Let me educate you. The total charge for accommodation is 18%. Of this 18%, Government receives 13%. The other 5% goes to a gratuity pool for the housekeeping workers, laundress workers and ground/maintenance workers. Not bad at all since most restaurants add 15% automatically to your dining bill. Why auto grats? The reason being, there are some cheap people in this world who don’t appreciate service, while not always perfect or good, mostly good service from my experiences. Good service deserves a good reward. You are now in the know. Pass it on.

        • Just Commentin' says:

          Sorry, but I do not tip for merely "good" service, I tip and tip well for exceptional service delivered with an exceptional attitude.  Good service should be the expected norm. A worker delivering less than good service deserves to be fired. If the service puts a smile on my face, or gleans compliments from those in my party, I will gladly leave a tip.

          I have never given any of my employees a bonus for performing at the norm. I believe in rewarding them for above-average performance. I sympathise with the poor service workers working for substandard wages; however, I refuse to cave into the mentality that every service worker is entitled to an extra bit of my hard-earned dollars every time they serve me unless every time they serve me they go beyond the call of duty.  There are those who do and they get a tip every time.

          it is appalling that so many service workers do not receive a decent wage and must rely on tips to make a living. This is why I support the idea of a living wage for all workers.

          • Doctor Foamy says:

            And rightfully you should reward for exceptional service as well as Good service. How about absolutely-outstanding service? How high do you set the bar for the service industry? Or for your own workers? The problem with your way of thinking is the level is not even and may raise based on your mood for the hour/day. What I may consider good or great service, may be crap for you. That’s why in most restaurants there’s the mandatory gratuity.
            “gleans compliments from those in my part” – that made me lol. Don’t put yourself so high above others. You and your party may get spit in your dinner. Sounds like you need a butler 24/7, best pay him well, kind sir.

            • Just Commentin' says:

              Here is the deal Dude: Before I started my first business I had a job while I was getting my education that relied in part on tips. The wages were very poor and no one got a raise at my level the whole time I was there. (Yeah! I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I had to work long and hard to buy it at Kirk Freeport.)  So I know what it is like to push for tips. On busy evenings I earned more in tips than in salary. There were a few of us who made excellent tips but most of my co-workers did not suck up to the customer and totally kiss it upand hustle like I did and so they made meagre tips.

              The point being that I know what constitutes excellent service and a great attitude. Yes you may indeed have a much lower standard than I. Most people who believe in rewarding mediocrity usually do have megre standards. However, by your system the server could be as surly as possible and you still have to pay the bill and their grat. While you may desire to subscribe to a socialist bent and a level playing field, I will continue to penalise poor service and reward excellent service.

              Nope, no butler: a housekeeper and a nanny for many years. And yes, they received extra reward for excellent service and no extra reward when their service was off. Considering they still call and come by to visit regualrly, I doubt they did any spitting. And yes, they were paid well above average in wages and total compensation and are respected as much as any family member.

              Do you know the etymology of the word "gratutity"? Do you know what "tip" means?  Both words assume a voluntary contribution. In my opinion it is poor custom to give a tip for poor service and it is dishonest to call a mandatory surcharge a "gratutity".

        • Doctor Foamy says:

          Clarification; I should have made it clear that not all properties charge the same gratuities, some are higher than the 5% I mentioned. At the condo I vacation at yearly, it’s 5% grats. The 13% is the standard Government tax and is a set amount for now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Kurt is a wise man.  No need for the Progressives to get involved in re-opening West Bay Road. No one twisted the Dart companies arm to tear up the road when they knew very well there was a pending court case.  Expect a multi-part decision similar to the Tara Rivers win in favor of the West Bay ladies and a rightful firm scolding from the Magistrate to all parties named in the writ. They all know it is coming.

     

     

    • Datisme says:

      To many people the Honorable for life ex-premeir is a wise man.  Most peoole here on island are wise enough to know why that is.

      • The Thinker says:

        Yes, and there are some people that believe His Excellency is not an honorable man.  No one knows how much his net worth increased while he was in office.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I recall Mrs. Doak reminding this Government "To keep its Word". I smell a large law suit here and guess what we Caymanians dont have any money becuase of of this and the past Governement BUT Mr Dart has Billions.. We screwed on this one if an agreement was signed… here come more taxes and a large cost of living increase for us…

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfair, unbalanced and possibly illegal or fraudulently arrived at contracts are unenforceable, although it would be a long and bitter court case which neither Cayman nor Dart need. Both parties can still benefit, and whilst I am wary of PPM, talking to Dart is the right way to go unless a total impasse is arrived at. Reasonableness on both sides is needed, not blind rage at things most of us have no real knowledge of…

      • Anonymous says:

        Illegal…? Isn't that how business is done in Cayman? Just like the business partnerships where a deal is signed and then the Caymanian partner takes the money and has the expat's permit withdrawn!t.

  21. Anonymous says:

    another huge backward step by the ppm………. dart should shut up shop, stop everything and then wait till cayman comes crawling back on it knees…….

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The days of Cayman crawling on it's knees to Mr. Dart for more of his love are OVER, my friend.

      • The Thinker says:

        I hope our new government knows this!

      • Anonymous says:

        You have no choice.

        Where will the revenue come from to pay government salaries in the future?

        • Anonymous says:

          It certainly won't come from the tax revenue (or duty concessions) we gave to Dart

        • Anonymous says:

          You and Dart are obviously both convinced we have no choice. Pity you both. There's still a God above, remember?

    • Anonymous says:

      But he loves Cayman. Why would he do that to a place he loves? I am so confused. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Or…. He should be sued for trying, along with Cayman's first and worst, for trying to pull a fast one on this country!

    • Anonymous says:

      Smh. You can tell you really love this country <sarcasm>.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your a fool,

      As if Dart's going to shut up shop in a place he has been raping and making millions on and still is, to go where exactly?

      He's been kicked out from all over the place already untill he landed here where he meet leaders with no education and planted his flag…

  22. SKEPTICAL says:

    GOOD – wouldn't want to frighten him off –  but there has to be some sort of a level playing field.

  23. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Have some ethics, a deal,is a deal, we cannot be changing arrangements in the middle, no one will ever do business with us again, do you not understand this?

    and we are going to get sued and the project may just stop, we are going lose big time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are not seeing the bigger picture here.. Its either you thnk only about money or just plained narrow minded. Lets me try and explain.

      The previous administration made a bad deal, that only helps one person really.  Now the new admins are in, they are ELECTED to try and move the cayman islands forward. Looking at this deal, while yes, it is signed, seal and somewhat thrown to the peoples feet. was never made for the best interest of cayman, so as the job of the new government to try and "fix" cayman, they are trying to make it more unbias  and to try and prevent the unfairness to drip over on the other ownersold and new,  and especially the locals face.  

      If you want to be narrow minded and can not see how this deal was crap to begin with from the get go, then fine. It just shows your character for standing up for what is wrote vs for more money in your pocket.

      FACT: Building a "nice" looking sand beach, which is located in the heart of this new infrastructure wasnt build to help cayman as much as it was build for prifitability for the owner of the new hotel across the street. 

    • Anonymous says:

      He knew what he was doing when he cooked this up with dirty willy. They got a little to greedy a little to fast this time. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Ethics. That's funny. You're are being funny, right?

    • Peanuts says:

      To the Dartitians, this Island was fine let me repeat FINE before Dart. The Dart development benifits the expats who live, work, and play there. I recall the happy Island we had in 1980, the born Caymaian had work, the life was good, and people were happy. Crime was almost non-extitant. Now we have pretty buildings with no soul, and people who dont give a damm for our local culture. When last have you seen any acts of Cayman kind.

      • Anonymous says:

        To the Landcrabians life was good when the economic juggernaut and dot-com boom was in full swing. Money and spending were aplenty. The money freely flowed to Cayman. Then the bubble burst – economies sank and governments had more mouths to feed. The result more taxes and a lot of hardship for everyone. Where does that leave Cayman? The EASY MONEY DAYS ARE OVER !!!!!!!! Now the reality of means-testing and competitive standards come into focus. People and corporations are watching every dollar, looking to save as such as possible and get real value for money. Cayman needs to adjust to these new market rules. Cayman needs to learn from its past mistakes and become a better, more accomodating destination where quality of life is paramount. In our global ecomony we are under constant threat from other desitations and jurisdictions that do better, cheaper and have more to offer than Cayman. So, Mr. Peanuts – our happy island in the 1980's was just our swansong. We should have made long term investments during these milk and honey years. CIG should have invested in a new airport, new cruise ship dock, new roads, schools and hospitals. It has done some of these things but they have been done 20-30 years later when we could least afford it. In essence we spent our Christmas Bonus and then had to borrow money to pay the rent! Cayman Kind is nothing but a marketing gimmick if it is not put into pratice by each and everyone of us. Let us not forget that the worst kind of feeling we can get is one of getting less than we expected. Not living up to expectations is the biggest hurdle we must overcome. My advice Mr. Peanuts is we all make a REAL effort to look at what we can all do collectively and individually to make Cayman Kind a reality. And just to comment on your jaded and nasty remarks about Dart – which is hateful and prejudiced in my opinion – it shows your ignorance of the truth that Cayman is a better today and with continued investment it can get better still.

        • Anonymous says:

          brillant…this should be a viewpoint…

        • The Thinker says:

          11:12,  I think you are dead wrong!  "Change" is not necessarily good.  I liked the old times, too.

        • Anonymous says:

          Although I agree with some of your observations, you are very dickish and patronizing and well more dickish, in your recommendations.

          To call the other sides comments hateful and prejudiced while ranting and name calling at the same time is the very definition of IGNORANCE. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Stop talking sense!

      • KIng James version says:

        Peanuts, they say if you eat too much of anything it hurt ya belly eh!  well my friend we haa a lot of good food, good time in the 80's but dat gone breds and now we belly hurting but not from food, but from bad leadership who thought them days would never end.  We need to look at present and future.  As for Dart and his investments, yes he has gained from being here no doubt, but have many a we.  Maybe you dont benefit directly but others do, those Caymanians who are employd by him and those that he "must" employ in his future projects.  so dont go off sounding macho before you have to puke dem nuts?

    • Caymanian Voter says:

      I agree (sadly) if the last greedy governemt gave away the house we are stuck with the bad and corrupt UDP decisions.  So lets do away with the tourism hotel tax and replace it with a landed night stay tax.  This way, our agreement is upheld a d we can expand the tax base to all the boats that are now tourism berthing in GT Marina and the ask visitors that stayed with relatives for a departure tax as they were "landed" (since we cannot tax private homes make it a at fee $10 per person per day)

      This way, we still have a tax tourist base per night (Assuming double occupany a d $200 per night average hotel room) this should equal out to our current hotel income and not break out contract with Dart.

      Think smarter and avoid lawyers !

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Listen to me 13:08, you can post any nonsense you want but Caymanians are known to stand up for what they believe is right and we are right on this one! Bring the lawyers on!

  24. Anonymous says:

    ROUND OF APPLAUSE!! 

  25. Anonymous says:

    "Although a reversal of the West Bay Road closure now appears to be impossible,"

    This is total nonsense, we must fight for our road, for our heritage, for our culture.  Cut our losses with the Mackeeva / Dart partnership.

    Nothing is impossible, nothing. 

    All we need is the will to do what is right.

    Nothing is honest about the so called Dart Deal, Mackeeva and Dart deceptively told us that the proposed road closure was for only 2,500 ft.

    When some private citizens measured the true length of road that UDP was stealing from the Caymanian people and giving to Dart the length was found to actually be 4,290 ft.

    Government and Dart have again proven that they cannot to be trusted.

    Dart has bought the minds of some Caymanians but not all Caymanians, I am very thankful for that.

    PPM you campaigned on the promise to get us back our road, we voted for you, do not also sell us out to Dart, we expect you to now live up to your promise. 

    We cannot afford the Dart Deal, our children will be oppressed while Mackeeva and Dart take the money.

    PPM if you have the concerns of people at heart then get our road opened up and ensure the money on any and all developments go to Government.

    PPM you have always been soft on Dart, time to now prove if you are to be distrusted or trusted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously if you are saying that a little bit of tarmac represents your heritage and culture then those that believe Cayman has no heritag or culutre worth speaking of might just have a point.  It is a bit of road.  Get over it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dat comment had to be posted by the nouveau rich paper Caymanians running Dartdisney

    • SSM345 says:

      21:48,  I am just a little bit curious as to where you and the rest of the WB Road activists were when the entire view along WB Road disappeared with all the other development?

  26. Anonymous says:

    All fake.

  27. Anonymous says:

    A signed agreement is a signed agreement.   A contract is a contract.   Dart incurred millions thus far based on an agreement with the Cayman government.    (I sold my house a year ago but I want more money, so I am going to go back to the buyer to ask for more money…..).     Dart may agree to something else now to avoid the government stalling;  otherwise, Dart takes CIG to court over breach of contract.   (Hilton at Beach Bay, golf course in Frank Sounds……yeah, right…..just like the Mandarin in East End or Stan Thomas golf course and resort along West Bay Road.   Dart is the only developer that follows through it seems. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You only see what you WANT to see

    • Anonymous says:

      "Dart is the only developer that follows through it seems."  

      Ever stop to really wonder why? Maybe the others just did not want to deal with Mac.  Whereas Dart……….

      Birds of a Feather Flock Together.

    • Anonymous says:

      A contract is non enforceable when it is deemed to have been fraudulent or overwhelmingly favors one party over the other – and all the intelligent people easily see the deal in question overwhelmingly favors Dart at the expense of not only the CIG but the other tourism players on the island. Wake up and smell the coffee.  The writing is on the wall.

      Trying to name one logical valid reason as to why the CIG should not take the advice of PWC and other intellectuals and renegotiate the contract is an exercise in futility.  Having said that it is obvious some are hell bent on wasting their own time in a futile attempt to annoy others with their stupidity.  

      Refusal to accept the inevitable only proves negotiations and the rule of law are equally mind boggling concepts for those in denial of fair play.

       

      • Anonymouse says:

        Life isn't fair my friend. In love nor business.

        Renegotiate all you like. 

        What are your plans for replacing the CIG revenue streams that the Dart Corporation feeds?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Its about bloody time!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well this is a nice change, something positive for the Cayman Islands and Caymanians! Thank you very much Minister Tibbetts. I am not a member of the PPM (or any party for that matter) but I congratulate you on your approach thus far and hope that it maintains.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Did you smell another lawsuit cooking!!!!LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean against Dart for conspiring with WillyMac to turn over the country? You're right, I smell that too

  31. Anonymous says:

    I do hope the Progressive/C4C alliance government will stand its ground and not pander to Dart's demands for a fifty per cent reduction on accommodation tax. If any one is favored with tax incentives, it should be native Caymanians who want to construct bed/breakfast accoomodations or native Caymanians who are inthe water sports industry or automobile/motorcycle rental business that should be given a break on the importation of building materials and equipment for those aforementioned types of businessesThe Government should encourage indigenous Cayman entrepreneurship not trying to help those who come here from abroad and obtain status or those who may not even have Caymanian status.

    • Anonymous says:

      So as a Caymanian Status Holder (and very proud of it too!), you don't want me to invest in Cayman?

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not say that but priority must be given to Caymanians. As a status holder, you sill have citizenship and loyalty to your original homeland.

  32. Lord Balfour QC says:

    Governments throughout the world has the ability through something called "eminent domain" to take any property they deem necessary for whatever purpose!  Mr. Bush made that deal with Dart "sine consilium" [without cosultation] which makes it Illegal, so the sitting Government can tell Mr. Dart that the "For Cayman Investment Alliance" deal is null and void and  to please cease forthwith any and all work involving the 4,290 feet of West bay Road  and instruct the NRA to remove all obstructions placed in and on that section of road immediately!

    • Anonymous says:

      But what induced Bush to do it?

      It would surprise (but delight) me if you are right, a previous government agreed, Dart acted on it, I would hope that the lack of transparency could undo the deal, but as a non lawyer average person I cant see how it can happen. The ceding of the land is bad, but to my mind the granting of exclusive tax breaks is worse, it has no visible end, and is unjust if unevenly applied.

      Once again I ask, what induced Bush to do it? We can guess what might have swayed his mind on earlier deals, his interest in the estate commissions could have persuaded him to alter the law on building height for example. But time and again when that man did deals that later cost the Islands hard earned money I ask that same question, what made it worthwhile for him to do it? The kindest answer would be that he was just stupid, a touch of hubris induced by his position of power causing him to be taken in by cleverer negotiators, for my own part I dont think that is the case, I strongly suspect that there is more. Lets hope that the reason for the delay in pursuing the minor financial "irregularities" is to investigate exactly this question!

      • Anonymous says:

        SERIOUSLY ? What made Bush do it?  If you really want to know, ask again and I will tell you. 

  33. Anonymous says:

    Now we will have to wait for the "Bush" hotel chain to start.

  34. Datisme says:

    So it wasn't a "real" Agreement.  It was more like an "Honorable for life" kind of agreement.  Do you have to have your fingers crossed behind your back or is it more of a he should know us by now so he knows we don't mean it kind of thing?  CIGs reputation for (not)keeping its word is still intact.  With the expected results.  Can they really not see that the movement in business is going to wrong way?

  35. Anonymous says:

    So they plan to come to the people about every little decision that needs to be made.  If that is the case, we may as well don't have a government.  I don't want my government to keep coming back to me in order to make decisions.  This government needs to understand that they need to stop the consultation process and get moving with the economy.  If there are people who are willing to invest in the country, make it happen, put people back to work and stop with the consultation

    • Anonymous says:

      You prefer a dictatorship then?

    • Anonymous says:

      peopel can not win in this country boi. People ask for transparancy and cry that they do not know what government is doing, and now that they are doing things and letting the pouplation now what is going on with business and you hear this crap.. SMH.. just go back to work.

    • Anonymous says:

      A country where the people have as much as say as the government, what exactly is wrong with that?  Although that certainly isn't the case and its just an illusion if you would rather sit back and have the government run your life then you are what is wrong with this island and the world.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Have balls Kurt! Take the bull by the horns and tell DART that the entire deal has to be renogiated if they want something else. Do you think DART is not going to build is hotel becasue he didn't get his 50%. That is pocket change to him. It is more about control that money and until someone has the balls to stand up and see the difference nothing will change. This crap about not being able to undo something because the last government did it is a cop out and a chance to have something to critsize about duting the next campaign.

    As far as the road goes, Kurt you may not have a choice in the matter if the court rules that this portion of the agreement was not done properly. Interesting though that you opposed this and campaigned against it but now have to support the government position against the West Bay ladies..Wonder what they think of you now?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Guys, how are you going to bring developers to the Cayman Islands without concessions in a world recession??? How??? We are not the only apple on the tree. Other countries are offering huge concessions.

    I am not saying that we should give away the baby, the bath water and the tub but lets be serious. Do you know how many countries Dart can invest in that will give him concessions?? How many of them who are chasing him right now?? We need to get over this 'Dart is evil' craze and look at getting money back into our economy….there is only one way of doing that….just saying the world economy is not the same anymore and Cayman is not that special as well… many, many more gorgeous countries in the Caribbean. Dont bite the hand that feeds you.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the most intelligent comment that I have read on this subject. 

       

    • Anonymous says:

      How about you go back to where you come from. We do not need dart he needs us if he had anywhere esle to go dont you think he would of been gone already ? So stop talking crap cayman is the best place for him to do business and for all those caymanian people that just want to sell out the country just to make a quick buck maybe you guys so should leave . And to the person who said government shouldn't consult with the people before making a decision how about you explain why they shouldn't maybe because the back door deals cannot occur . This is not Big Mac the ppm do things the right way .

    • Anonymous says:

      actually, a lot of countries blatantly have said no to this man.They do not want him into their country. You are only seeing dollar signs.. You have to look at the long term implications. Not to mention, he wouldnt have been here if it wasnt for the tax breaks or the people he has in his pockets.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is not here becuase he loves us, he is here because no one else wants him and no other politician was as corrupt as ours. That last fact, if you think about it, is unbelievable. This is a vulture capatalist that does nothing but hide his face. Do you know what he looks like? I dont and most people at dart, if not all bar a very few know. Why hide and from who? The countries he has invested in are investigating him and he cant go to those countries because he would be in harms way.

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Cayman is special,and Dart dont feed me fool.

  38. Anonymous says:

    If all these projects Kurt is talking about come about, Grand Cayman will need massive infrastructure development (especially roads) and Caymanians will have to get used to something many of them already hate – huge numbers of expat employees. Those lazy deadbeats around the well known deadbeat congregation spots on the islands will never lift a finger to do even an hour's work let alone a week's or a month's even if the pay was good.

  39. Anonymous says:

    None of these fancy hotel developments (five star Conrad Hilton in Beach Bay- seriously!!!!) will come to anything. Cayman has become so tacky a tourist destination, nothing of this standard will occur. WTF would five star guests want to go to Beach Bay for?? To hear Lorenzo Berry blasting his quarries?

    Meanwhile we continue to kick in the balls the only developer who actually is willing to do anything here. If I were Dart, I would say eff unna and take my money elsewhere or just sit tight and do no more development and enjoy the billions I have.

    Ok, bring on the thumbs down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed.   There will never, never be a hotel at Beach Bay.   Never.  Hilton going to build out there?  Really?   

      And a golf course at Frank Sound?   Oh boy……