MPs pass housekeeping’ fee increase
Three pieces of legislation were passed without objection in the House of Assembly this week.
Members of Parliament approved the Companies and Partnerships (Fees) Act 2018, the Motor Car Amendment Act 2018 and the Auxiliary Bicycles Amendment Act 2018.
Wayne Furbert, Junior Minister of Finance, introduced the second reading of the Companies and Partnerships (Fees) Act 2018. The Bill increases certain fees charged under the Companies Act 1981, the Limited Partnership Act 1883, the Exempted Partnership Act 1992, and the Overseas Partnership Act 1995.
Mr Furbert said: “The Government believes a 5 per cent increase represents a sound balance between the Government’s need for additional revenue and the ability of companies to absorb.”
He said the highest dollar fee increase was $1,647.
Mr Furbert said the fee increases were expected to raise $2 million in additional revenue.
Jeanne Atherden, Opposition leader, said: “We understand the housekeeping element.”
Grant Gibbons, Shadow Minister of Economic Development, asked if there had been an impact from last year’s increase in company permit fees. Mr Furbert said that six of about 260 permit companies in Bermuda had “decided to move on”.
The Motor Car Amendment Act 2018 raises the cost of a number of permit fees by five per cent.
Dr Gibbons asked: “Essentially, this is raising all fees by 5 per cent straight through?
“The reason I ask is because I was looking at livery mini cars and that licensing has only been in place for nine months.”
Mr Roban, Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, said “it made no sense” to increase fees for the mini cars.
The Auxiliary Bicycles Amendment Act 2018 increases the annual licence fee for auxiliary cycles and livery cycles.
Mr Roban said the fees have historically been increased by five per cent every two years.
He added: “These fees have not been increased since 2012.”
The fee for an auxiliary cycle is increased from $58.40 to $61.32 and the livery cycle fee moves from $83.95 to $88.20.
Leah Scott, deputy Opposition leader and shadow tourism minister, said: “Since it’s been six years since the fees increased, and the fee increase is reasonable, we have no objections.”
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