KRALENDIJK- The permanent committee of the Island Council for Management & Support discussed the proposed changes to the Visitor Entry Tax regulation in a committee meeting on December 5th.
The Executive Council submitted the proposal to solve a few bottlenecks. These bottlenecks emerged in an evaluation that was carried out. The two most important proposed changes are the adjustment of the validity period to 4 weeks, to prevent double payment for ‘Island Hopping’, and the low rate for born Bonaireans who live abroad.
The Island Council has decided not to implement these changes yet and to await a more extensive evaluation first. This should include looking at the group of Bonairean students who do not fall under the BES Student Finance Act, but for whom the Island Council would like an exemption. The evaluation showed that this is technically difficult for this limited group. Moreover, with the change that persons born on Bonaire will pay the low rate, this group would also fall under the low rate.
Commissioner of Economy and Tourism, Hennyson Thielman, is disappointed about the fact that the the proposed changes have not been ratified and that the evaluation has been removed from the Island Council’s agenda of December 6. As a result, the group of ‘island hoppers’ and the group of born Bonaireans who do not currently live on Bonaire continue to pay the high rate of 75 dollar for every time they enter the island.