Jamaica's Opposition spokesperson on sports calls for implementation of Sports Incentive Act

By Sports Desk June 09, 2023

Natalie Neita Garvey, the Opposition Spokesperson for Sports, is advocating for the implementation of a Sports Incentive Act. During her sectoral presentation in the House on Tuesday (June 6), the Member of Parliament for North Central St Catherine put forth several recommendations under the theme of "Looking at the Bigger Picture."

"I propose the enactment of a Sports Incentive Act, which would introduce a short-term incentive program aimed at generating a significant amount of robust business activity to support the growth and development of this massive sector," expressed Neita Garvey.

She emphasized the importance of establishing a public-private sector partnership to create an incentive program that would attract investors from both domestic and international sources. Additionally, this program would serve as a means to incentivize industry stakeholders within Jamaica.

The proposed incentive program seeks to provide a ten-year relief from GCT (General Consumption Tax), income tax, and import duty for the following entities:

All registered Sports Clubs.
New clubs with 50 or more paying members, with a minimum addition of 20 members per year.
Existing Clubs that have undertaken or plan to undertake substantial structural improvements and possess a lease of 50 years or more or own their clubhouse.
Clubs engaged in community peace management initiatives.
Clubs involved in sustainable environmental projects and activities, such as water harvesting, greenhouse technology, recycling, and energy conservation.
Neita Garvey recommended several categories that would make a Club eligible for any of these incentives, including equipment and supplies, apparel, footwear, educational material, purchase and/or lease of additional physical space to enhance the sport/s, and housing/dormitory facilities.

The objective of these incentives is to stimulate growth within the sub-sector and attract stakeholders from low to middle-income groups.

The proposed measures include:

Exemption from GCT and customs duty for specific items imported for a period of five years (utilizing the discretionary authority of the Minister of Finance & The Public Service).
A five-year exemption from corporate taxes for investors in sporting attractions (utilizing the discretionary authority of the Ministry of Finance & The Public Service).
Private sector investments in physical infrastructure for sports development would receive the necessary tax write-offs to incentivize their contributions.
Neita Garvey highlighted that prior to finalizing incentive packages, clearance must be obtained from the Ministry of Finance & The Public Service through the Ministry of Sport, as they consider the bigger picture.

Furthermore, the Opposition spokesperson called for the reinstatement of the National Sports Council, noting that it has not convened since 2016.


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