Government silent on FCIA

| 02/12/2013

(CNS): After more than six months in office the government appears to have made no significant advance in the talks with the Dart Group on the future of the ForCayman Investment Alliance and the so-called NRA agreement signed by the UDP administration in December 2011. Although CNS has submitted a number of questions to government regarding the current situation, there has been no response to those enquiries from officials. It is understood, however, that government has made little headway on changing the details of the NRA Deal, despite the questions raised in an independent consultants' report about the value for money for the public purse. The government has objected to the proposed 50% from tax concession in the deal but has not found an agreeable replacement concession.

In the immediate wake of the elections, Kurt Tibbetts, the minister with responsibility for roads, had indicated that the PPM government had begun talks with the developer and that their goal was to renegotiate the deal. The focus, he said, would be on the 50% room tax reduction offered to the group on all Dart-owned tourist accommodation for a period of ten years on anything it buys or builds for the next three decades. Tibbetts described that element of the deal as “unacceptable” but sources tell CNS that the developer is reluctant to lose such a generous concession and has pressed for significant other concessions to replace it.

Despite the promises made by the PPM on the campaign trail before the May election to find some way of creating an access through route in the area of the West Bay Road, which has now been closed, the minister indicated at an early stage that the road closure was a done deal. Instead, government would focus on other parts of the agreement.

So far, the stretch of West Bay Road between Raleigh Quay and the new by-pass junction at Yacht Drive remains open to the public and has not yet been handed over to the developer as per the agreement. It is not clear if government has yet taken possession of the land in West Bay which was promised under the deal or what has happened to the cash donations from Dart, which were also included

In addition, a law suit filed in the Grand Courts earlier this year challenging the legality of the NRA deal is scheduled for trial next week.

Dart is, however, pressing ahead with the hotel development on the former site of the Court Yard Marriott. Under the current NRA agreement, which is already signed, the developer will receive the 50% concession on all parties staying in both the 10-storey hotel and the 10-storey condo tower being built alongside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Comments (23)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    So far we have lost a road.  Public beach now has multi-colored sand.  The children's play area has no shade and is far from the beach making it hard for a family if Mom/Dad wants to keep track of kids both in the water and on the Playground.  (Used to be able to do that). The "camp Ground" is a waste land. 

    The new duel lane road makes no accommodations for pedestrians to cross to get from one side to the other to access to the buses.  Someone is going to get hurt particularly in the Raleigh Quay area.

    Tell me again why we made this "deal"!



    • Anonymous says:

      The deal was made becuase cayman needed a new road and could not afford to pay for it. Simple as the eye can see. When you ask someone to build something for you they will want something in return..

    • Anonymous says:

      It is really vexing to watch the government allow these people to place 'multi colored sand' on what is supposed to be our public beach!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This dead horse had been flogged too much already.

    • Anonymous says:

      The issue must be that Dart has a legally binding agreement signed with a previous legally elected government, which is still valid. PPM knows this and that to break or change the agreement they are going to have to compensate Dart in another way (Don't blame Dart, a Cayman government signed it too).

      On the other hand, you have all other hoteliers who can complain of unfair treatment, which in my view would stand a court test,as they are economically disadvantaged, and they too would win a case, unlevel playing field.

      In my view, PPM should just frop the tax to the same level for everyone, reduced hotel prices might actually bring more people here…5% is a lot to save.


      • Anonymous says:

        How about we give all the hotels the same deal a 50% break and then raise the tax 100%.  Now we have our tax money back, and dart has their 50% cut, and we have a level playing field.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The only solution I see is to give ALL hoteliers the same concessions. This will of course reduce revenue, but we cannot afford to have an uneven playing field in the tourism business.

    To make up the loss of revenue, government could double the current taxes on alcohol imports. They could also remove the restrictions and allow anyone to become a wholesale importer of alcohol. This would increase revenue, and maybe we could purchase beer for less than what we are paying now.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is not the only solution.How about doubling the Tourist Tax for all properties including those covered by the FCIA. Government could then waive this increase for all properties not covered by the FCIA (this would be the same as a 50% concession).That means that properties cureently collecting ,say $10 per person would continue to do so and pay it over to Government..Properties covered by the FCIA would collect the new $20 fee and keep 50% meaning that they would be paying over $10 per person to Government,The net result;no loss in revenue for Dart or Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        A Cayman vacation is already more expensive than most Caribbean vacations and your proposal is to make them more expensive?  There was a time, when Cayman was positioning itself as a high-end destination, that maybe that could have worked. But for the last 12 years, Cayman has repositioned itself as a family destination, and more significantly, as a cruise ship destination. The once quiet 7-Mile Beach now bustles with cruise ship passengers nearly every day. Stingray City hosts several hundred people daily. Downtown shopping is full of cheaper jewellery and t-shirts to satisfy demand of Carnival Cruise passengers. Your solution would only drive more of the stay-over tourists away.

      • Anonymous says:

        What you are describing is nothing more that Government corruption and just a nother way for them to renig on a deal they signed..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why is it a "so-called NRA agreement".  It is the "NRA agreement".

    • Anonymous says:

      It is appropriate to refer to it as the "so-called NRA agreement" when the agreement was made by McKeeva and the NRA were then instructed to sign it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This was a great win-win and the report said nothing otherwise. 

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      Yes, it was a great win for the shark and the thief, but it was a terrible loss for the public purse!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are too stupid to understand that this is not a zero sum game.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank You for pointing out the obvious problem here is that too many people are not able see where the benefit is here all they can see is the 50 percent concession used to politicking. But not many people are smart enought to realize that half of something is better that half of nothing expecially when you don't have to put any money out. As well as get things like new roads, Dart put up million and millions of dollars to build this road and only stands to recover that money if the islands tourist product continues to grow. It sounds to me like he has a lot more to lose than any of us if the island goes under or the tourist product flops. Id say Dart is the only one that actually uts his money where his mouth is and follows through on promises..

  6. Lock, Stock says:

    Its a done deal, move on!! There is no way any sane business man would give up these concessions unless they were replaced with something just as unacceptable to the public. This is just another one of those UDP messes  that we are going to have to suck up and take. The very best we can do is to ensure that this never happens again and hopefully consign politicians like Bush to the scrap heap.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    typical do nothing approach by ppm…..

    no progress on dart  deal…

    nothing done on the dump…

    nothing done on the port….

    nothing done on the airport…

    nothing done to reduce cost of living or doing business…

    businesses closing every day….

    property market in tatters…

    immigration reform was shambolic….


    btw I'm no udp…they were equally inept…….

    • Anonymous says:

      They did sort out TELP's!! So take that!!! About they didn't do anything, cha!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually rather than leave it to the next political team coming in like the UDP did they have set a conclusion to it. Just the date was changed and the policy cleaned up. Some might not agree with the decision but at least we are not waiting until after the next election.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wuld say the UDP was very unequally inept!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right. They should have got out their magic wand and solved all the major problems of the country within the first 6 months in office. smh. Obviously they are working on the cruise port and airport expansion projects, and they have been in discussions with Dart. Haven't you been reading the news?  What you see as ineptitude is actually doing things properly.

  8. Anonymous says:

    stand strong mr dart… are our only hope…..