A lot of confusion about new tourist tax

Initially the idea was a once-per-year entry fee. Nobody seems to know who changed the proposal on this point. Photo: ABC Online Media

KRALENDIJK- Reports about the new tourist tax that would be levied on July 1 of this year for tourists visiting the island have caused both a lot of commotion and much discussion on Good Friday.

It is striking that even among the members of the Island Council there is uncertainty as to which text has finally been adopted and to what extent a proposed amendment has now led to an essentially different arrangement than was first envisaged.

Some island councillors believe that the adopted ordinance only changed the amount of the tax. Where there was first talk of a tax of 50 dollars, this would have been increased to 75 dollars.

Zero rate?

The confusion is mainly about the applicable provision for tourists who enter more than once a year.

The text of the original Explanatory Memorandum stated with the article-by-article explanation: “Finally, a zero rate applies to visitors who in the twelve months prior to the start of he! residence has already paid tourist tax once. The Executive Council considers it undesirable that a returning visitor pays tourist tax more than once within 12 months”.

The text of the regulation that was adopted this week by the Island Council would explicitly state that the tax for non-residents would apply every time the non-resident enters Bonaire and that there would no longer be a nil rate if that resident has already paid the tax in question. The press release of the Public Entity Bonaire, sent out on Thursday, also mentions each entry. A lecture that will also be confirmed by Deputy Hennyson Thielman on Thursday evening.


No further explanation was given from the Public Body on Friday about the various readings of the exact text and what the exact method will be now.

It is clear that it is not so much hotel guests who will experience the greatest disadvantage of the new regulation. After all, hotel guests will soon no longer pay guest tax or car rental tax.

The main disadvantage of the new arrangement seems to be family and friends who come to visit people who live on the island.

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