Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Chester Cooper addressed criticism from the Opposition on the discontinuation of the SERZ Order in the House of Assembly on Wednesday. The Special Economic Recovery Zone Order was instituted by the former administration. It offered tax concessions to persons on Grand Bahama and Abaco to aid in their rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Cooper said, “any resident, citizen of The Bahamas in Grand Bahama and Abaco who have been disadvantaged in relation to their property can still make application to the Ministry for Grand Bahama, they can still make application to the Office of the Prime Minister in Abaco and will still get relief. We will not provide relief for foreigners who are building second homes, will not provide relief for persons, for example, who would have had insurance and not in need of such relief. We will ensure that government revenue is collected so that persons who are in need can be supported. So that we can build schools and roads and seawalls.
In announcing the end of the broad SERZ order as of December 1st, 2022, the government also announced that applications for the tax concessions offered under the order would be considered on a case by case basis.