People’s National Party (PNP) Opposition spokesperson for sports, Natalie Neita Garvey, is calling for a Sports Incentive Act.
In her sectoral presentation in the House on Tuesday (June 6), the Member of Parliament for North Central St Catherine made several recommendations under the “Looking at the Bigger Picture” theme.
“I would like to propose a Sports Incentive Act which will introduce a short-term incentive programme aimed at generating an incredible amount of robust business activity to support the growth and development of this massive sector,” she expressed.
She added that relevant to this proposal is the development of a public-private sector partnership, to have an incentive programme which will seek to attract investors from home and abroad. Additionally, the proposed act will serve to incentivize industry stakeholders here in Jamaica.
The incentive programme, she said, will seek to provide 10 years in relief from general consumption tax (GCT), income tax and import duty for the following clubs:
- All registered sports clubs. New clubs with up to 50 paying members or more adding a minimum of 20 per year.
- Existing clubs that have done or intend to do substantial structural improvement and have a lease of 50 years or more/own their clubhouse.
- Clubs engaged in community peace management initiatives.
- Clubs that are engaged in sustainable environmental projects and activities like water harvesting, greenhouse technology, recycling and energy conservation
She also recommended the following additional incentives for qualifying clubs:
- Equipment and supplies
- Apparel, footwear
- Educational material
- Purchase and/or lease of any additional physical space which can be used to add value to the sport/s and housing/dorm facility.
Neita -also proposed incentives for investors in the sector, the result of which would be a stimulant for growth in the sub-sector and attracting low to middle-income group of stakeholders.
- The importation of specific items free of GCT and Custom Duty for five years (utilising the discretionary authority of the Minister of Finance & The Public Service)
- Five-year exemption from corporate taxes for investors in sporting attractions (utilising the discretionary authority of the Ministry of Finance & The Public Service)
- Any investment from the private sector in physical infrastructure towards the sports development receives the requisite tax write-offs to serve as an incentive towards their investment.
The Opposition spokesperson also called for the return of the National Sports Council, which she says, has not met since 2016.