Govt. Delays Land Charge Increase To 2017

August 20, 2015

In the early hours of Tuesday morning [Aug 18], during the sitting of the House of Assembly, the House passed the Bermuda Immigration and Protection [Land-Holding Charges] Regulations Amendment 2015 under the guidance of the Minister of Finance Bob Richards.

“These regulations seek to defer a proposed increase in land holding charges by a further 18 months so that they come into effect on 31st March 2017 and not September 30th 2015 as originally scheduled. The values are set to automatically increase to between 6% and 12.5%,” the Ministry said.

“A ‘land holding charge’ is something which an applicant must pay before the Minister of Home Affairs issues a land-license to a non-Bermudian to own property. This is calculated as a percentage of the value of the land.”

“The Government believes this legislative change will provide a net benefit to Bermuda,” explained Minister Richards. “We will delay the increase in charges to a point where we expect the Bermudian economy to be doing much better and where it can absorb the increase in the land-holding charge.

“The new regulations passed in the House were in keeping with the aims of The Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2015 [passed earlier this year], which are to the stop the bleeding of property values, spur growth in the property market and help create jobs for Bermudians.”

On Monday 24th August 2015, the Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy will seek to pass the amended Regulations in the Senate.

The Ministry said, “In summary, the current land-holding charges, together with the values to which they will rise on 31st March 2017 rather than 30th September 2015, are as follows:

  • For permanent residents – 4% of the value of the land, to rise to 6%.
  • For other non-Bermudians
    • purchasing a residential unit- 8% of the value of the land, to rise to 12.5%;
    • purchasing a condo – 6% of the value of the land, to rise to 8%.”

Minister Fahy said: “There continues to be no land-holding charge payable for land purchased by the spouse, child or parent of a Bermudian. In addition, the land-holding charges for tourist accommodations and hotel residences will remain uncharged by these regulations.

“It should be noted that since the passage of the Landholding Amendments in March 25th 2014, there have been strong signals of activity in the real estate market. This demonstrates that the Government of Bermuda is on the right track.

“However, since then, industry representations have been made to Government that the scheduled fee increase has the potential to derail this activity and a number of outstanding transactions that are near closing.

“We have assessed those representations and considered the possible economic impact of increased activity in the real estate market versus revenue implications and, consequently, decided to delay implementation of the fee increase.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. San George says:

    Lower taxes and cut the civil service Mr. Richards. The longer this takes the worst this economc situation is going to get.
    If the government stops competing with private industry and stops obstructing opportunity people will work for themselves.
    The civil service as an employer is too attractive.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I agree that the CS is far too attractive an employment opportunity, there is far too much stressed on job protection than job performance. But the solution isn’t a slash and burn job, it requires patience through attrition, otherwise we risk increasing unemployment and burdening financial assistance expenditure. Metrics also need to begin to be implemented so that we can identify underperformance employees, give them a chance to improve, or failing that, cut them loose. We don’t just need a smaller CS, we need a more efficient one too.

  2. Ian says:

    The One Bermuda Alliance…

    Committed to serving non-Bermudians’ interests one day at at time.

    • serengeti says:

      Helping create conditions for Bermudians to be able to sell houses and condos doesn’t sound terrible to me.

      But whatever, you keep going with the little slogans.

      • Ian says:

        Uhhh… sell homes and condos to who?? Other Bermudians?? No… You people really arent capable of giving it a rest with your delusional, rose tinted perspective on how the OBA’s endless accommodation of foreigners is for Bermudians’ best interest huh?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      And that mentality is what sunk us so low that we were on track to being sold to the IMF. This is no more pro-foreigner than anything your infallible PLP ever legislated… Because those rates are what the PLP legislated. All the OBA has done is put off raising them any further to not stress a real estate market that is still in its infancy of recovery.

      • Ian says:

        We are actually more on track to being sold to the IMF now as a result of the OBA’s economic policy to date and their lunacy err logic regarding the airport project.

  3. HeyBye says:

    Land Tax needs to be adjusted downward as property values and rental incomes have plummeted compared to the assessed values done during boom times.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Rents have plummeted ?
      You’d never guess by looking at what people are still advertising their places for .

      And sorry , don’t hold your breath waiting for any downward adjustments in any taxes , despite reality .

  4. Cow Polly says:

    Or may be the OBA is thinking of all those Bermudians who own property that has been left empty for the past couple of years and delayed the increase in the hope that those wealthy America’s Cup spectators fall in love with our island and purchase a little summer home?

  5. Bettah check yah hook…I think cow pollie got yah bait again…