Chamber wants ‘more structured’ 60:40 change

  • Kendaree Burgess, the Chamber of Commerce chief executive (File photograph)

    Kendaree Burgess, the Chamber of Commerce chief executive (File photograph)

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce said the proposal to flip the 60:40 rule that guaranteed majority Bermudian ownership of companies to 40:60 “requires more examination”.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, said in his Budget speech yesterday that the Government intended to make the change, but that companies’ boards of directors would still need to be at least 60 per cent Bermudian.

Kendaree Burgess, the chamber’s chief executive, said: “The chamber would support a more structured relaxation of the rule as it applied to specific industries.”

Ms Burgess backed a number of points in Mr Dickinson’s speech, including the simplification of duty deferment for retailers, the creation of a green energy fund and a focus on solar energy and sustainability and the creation of an economic diversification department.

The chamber also supported the creation of a competent person register for planning works and a crackdown on those who had outstanding taxes such as payroll taxes and stamp duty.

Ms Burgess said: “We also liked the potential factoring of the debts owed and changes to payroll tax bands to stimulate hiring by small to medium-sized businesses.”

Ms Burgess added that several of the proposals in the Budget speech tied into the chamber’s diversification report by Executive Master of Business Administration students from Cornell University in the US and Queens University in Canada.

She said: “Other positives were the future efforts to stimulate the real estate market. Overall the chamber is pleased with the direction the minister is going in and we applaud his efforts to be more collaborative.”

Ms Burgess added: “We still would like continued efforts to lower the overall cost of Government so the business community can be assured that taxes will not be increased in the future.”

She thanked the finance minister for his willingness to consult and for the Pre-Budget Report.

Ms Burgess said: “The chamber has taken advantage of this opportunity to discuss and provide information to the ministry regarding the consequences of these proposals to enable more informed decision-making,” she said.

“The consultation that resulted in no new corporate services taxes and the managed service tax idea being discarded is also positive.

“Overall, the chamber is pleased with the direction the minister is going in.”

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Published Feb 22, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 22, 2020 at 8:02 am)

Chamber wants ‘more structured’ 60:40 change

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