Homeowners hear of provisions under the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill

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Ketra Todd, of the Economic Development & Planning Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister presents provisions under the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill 2018, during a workshop at Salem Union Baptist Church, Taylor Street, on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Facilitators of The Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative conducted yet another workshop on provisions under the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill, at Salem Union Baptist Church on Taylor Street. Held on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, the workshop was geared towards homeowners and renters. This came on the heels of the first workshop held Thursday, August 9, for businesspersons. Samita Ferguson, Executive Manager, Over-the-Hill Unit in the Office of The Prime Minister, noted they were happy to engage once again representatives from various agencies who were able to speak on matters pertaining to the process of home renovation that could benefit homeowners/renters.

Components of the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill are designed to encourage residential and commercial property development and investment in these zones through various tax incentives. Representatives of agencies who provided pertinent information were from Inland Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Works, and the National Insurance Board. Residents of Bain and Grants Town, Centreville and vicinity were advised on the supporting documents required for application submission, as well as the eligibility requirements for concessions.   In addition, Chrystal Glinton, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gave a presentation on comprehensive disaster management and the overall functions of NEMA.  She informed the attendees of the necessary steps and plans in securing their properties – homes, and businesses.  Ms. Glinton also participated in the presentation of hurricane kits to residents donated by Fidelity Bank.

At the end of the session, individuals were able to connect one-on-one with representatives from the various agencies for personal advice. The Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative calls for the creation of economic empowerment zones aimed at granting tax concessions to home.e and business owners in poverty-stricken areas. Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis said under this initiative, his government wants to decrease the income gap and improve quality of life. Among the first transformations to take place will be re-development of Over-the-Hill landmarks — McPherson Park, Father Marshall Cooper Park, and the historic Southern Recreation Grounds. Ketra Todd of the Economic Development & Planning Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister presented provisions under the Bill, which was passed in the House of Assembly and the Senate on July 26 and August 9, 2018, respectively.

The Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative is built around six key pillars:

–       Social Empowerment and the Preservation of Bahamian Heritage;

–       Rejuvenation;

–       Smart Technology;

–       Green Technology;

–       Youth and Elderly Empowerment; and

–       Economic Empowerment.

The Initiative is led by the Office of the Prime Minister, through the Over-the-Hill Unit. More workshops outlining the initiative and provisions under the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill will be held to further enlighten residents in the respective zoned-areas.

Residents attending a workshop on tax concessions under the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill at Salem Union Baptist Church, Taylor Street, on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. The measure is a component of The Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative, led by the Over-the-Hill Unit, in the Office of the Prime Minister. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

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