Govt Will Revise Height Restrictions In Hamilton

February 21, 2018 | 15 Comments

Government will revise height restrictions in the Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone for residential and mixed-use development, Premier David Burt in the 2018/19 Budget, with the Government also set to relax condominium ownership restrictions for approved developments.

In addition, Government will temporarily increase land tax rates on commercial properties by 5% “to yield an additional $15 million in land taxes,” while the Tax Reform Commission “looks at commercial rents and the income earned from commercial properties whose income is not currently subject to taxation.”

Space Is Limited & Essential We Have More People

In delivering the 2018/19 Budget, Premier Burt said, “Space in Bermuda is limited. However, given our demographic challenges, it is essential that we have more people living and working in Bermuda.

“As we plan for this growth, it is prudent to incentivise additional development within the City of Hamilton, which will reduce future traffic congestion and strain on our road infrastructure.

“For as long as we can remember, the Bermuda Cathedral has restricted the height of buildings in the city; however, as we look to the future, it is time to consign old restrictions to the history books.

Bermuda Aerial media Cathedral Bermuda

Revise Height Restrictions

The Premier said in an effort to  “increase the options for development inside the City of Hamilton and to provide economic activity to North Hamilton, the Government will revise height restrictions in the Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone for residential and mixed-use development.”

Relax Condo Ownership Restrictions For Approved Developments

“Revising height restrictions alone will not stimulate demand for property, which is needed to jumpstart the construction industry,” the Premier said, therefore, Government will “relax condominium ownership restrictions for approved developments in the Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone, thus stimulating demand, generating wealth, and putting Bermudian construction workers back to work.”

“The Government will launch a consultation on these changes through the Ministry of Home Affairs, to ensure that these changes meet the Government’s objectives of providing opportunities for economic empowerment for Bermudians who have, to date, been spectators of Bermuda’s economic miracle.”

Temporary Commercial Rent Land Tax Increase

Premier Burt said, “The Pre-Budget Report announced that the Government was considering taxing commercial rents. Following consultation, the Government will not introduce a new tax on commercial rents, but rather – as a temporary measure – it will increase land tax rates on commercial properties by 5% to yield an additional $15 million in land taxes.

Tax Reform Commission To Look At Commercial Rents

“This temporary increase will generate additional revenue while the Tax Reform Commission looks at commercial rents and the income earned from commercial properties whose income is not currently subject to taxation. Properties in the Economic Empowerment Zones will be exempt from this temporary increase,” the Premier said.

click here Bermuda 2018 Budget

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Comments (15)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Following consultation, the Government will not introduce a new tax on commercial rents, but rather – as a temporary measure – it will increase land tax rates on commercial properties by 5% to yield an additional $15 million in land taxes”

    Yes, I expect it will be about as “temporary” as the American War Revenue Act of 1917 and the Canadian “War Tax Upon Income” Act of 1917

    • fluffy says:

      To be clear that’s a 70 increase in the tax rate.

      • Black Soil says:

        You could let them build to the moon if you like. No one wants to build. Maybe you can let dreb charge what he wants for fake MRI’s. That way we can all get an MRI on our way into work on floor 26 of his most Excellency’s building.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    What is needed to jump start the construction industry is confidence in the economy & a stable Government. There is already a surplus of office space in Hamilton. There is already a surplus of rental units across the island with depressed rents compared to up to 6 years ago.

    Who is going to invest in such a climate? Post July 2017 how many projects have been put on hold at the drawing board? Money does not like instability. It does not like phrases like “We don’t care what you think”. It does not like words like “consultation” when they really mean “Done deal”.

    Take your pictures of the iconic Hamilton skyline now. If Burt gets his way it will be nothing but a generic line of ugly buildings, all trying to get a better view of each other.

    • shrew says:

      with nobody in them! as you point out, who in their right mind would “invest” in construction of a building in Hamilton (or anywhere in Bermuda) under a PLP Govt who just basically have their fingers crossed hoping that “entrepenuers” will flock here to biz since the 60 40 rule is gone. which by theway, if the OBA had suggested to do away with the 60 40, there would be marching and blockading and tweedy and you name it. oh the HYPROCRISY of the PLP and its members have no bounds

    • Albie says:

      With the cost of building a tall state of the art office building similar to what we have seen recently, costing about $90 million, plus land, it is unlikely in this financial and political climate we will see much change in the skyline for some time.

      On the other hand we might well see an application for a cellphone/communications tower. Who would want to live next to that?

  3. campervan says:

    “Relax Condo Ownership Restrictions For Approved Developments”

    A dollar short and a day late.
    I can reel off a dozen ex Bermuda residents who have purchased their own homes in Cayman where they now live and work. They are pouring money, resources and their energies into the jurisdiction. Meanwhile swathes of Hamilton has empty decaying lots, and dug out foundations just sitting rotting.
    I sometimes wonder if OJ is on the Cayman business development payroll. ;-)

  4. chi says:

    increased height in NoHa + easing rules for foreign ownership = recipe for gentrification

  5. Clarity says:

    The Cathedral was the highest building to demonstrate that Bermudians valued spiritual enrichment above all else. Guess that has been forgotten.

    • PBanks says:

      Perhaps you should lobby the church bodies and Preserve Marriage to pressure Govt to reverse the proposal.

  6. Diplomat says:

    Funny how religion and the church drives everything here, except when it comes to the Anglican Cathedral, no longer allowed to remain the focal point.

    Now if that was St Paul’s AME up there opposite Market Place……

  7. Um Um Like says:

    Gentrification, anyone?

  8. wahoo says:

    Like everything else it sounds nice when you say it but the reality is that most investors will not build in North, East, South or West Hamilton at this time. Big money is afraid of a plp government with good reason. The very best way Mr. Burt can encourage investment is to tone down the crap that the radical plp soldiers spew.

  9. aboogiewitdahoodie says:

    PLP selling away our island one building at a time…

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