• 'Wearable Art meets Wall Art' shows off unique styles at event opening
    'Wearable Art meets Wall Art' shows off unique styles at event opening
  • Tourism Minister joins Sandals executives at travel event in Los Angeles
    Tourism Minister joins Sandals executives at travel event in Los Angeles
  • Culture rocks the opening of IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014
    Culture rocks the opening of IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014
  • U.S. Embassy sponsored leadership development workshop attracts youth
    U.S. Embassy sponsored leadership development workshop attracts youth
  • HMBS Arthur Dion Hanna first thrust in ‘new strategies’ against transnational crime
    HMBS Arthur Dion Hanna first thrust in ‘new strategies’ against transnational crime
  • Game of Thrones fans compete in short film competition presented by Cable Bahamas & HBO
    Game of Thrones fans compete in short film competition presented by Cable Bahamas & HBO
  • Fallen American and Bahamian members of the armed services honoured during wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day
    Fallen American and Bahamian members of the armed services honoured during wreath-laying ceremony on Memorial Day
  • Fishermen's bounty enjoyed at Romora Bay
    Fishermen's bounty enjoyed at Romora Bay
  • BTC awards $5,000 scholarship to Primary School Student of the Year
    BTC awards $5,000 scholarship to Primary School Student of the Year
  • BTC, PMH and Doctors Hospital team up for World Blood Donor Day
    BTC, PMH and Doctors Hospital team up for World Blood Donor Day



VAT Department issues help videos
Submitted by Sasha Lightbourne   

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Value Added Tax (VAT) Department of the Ministry of Finance has released three short videos to assist VAT Registrants.

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The first video entitled “Navigation from Home Page” is a simple video explaining the ten key areas of the home page and the additional navigation and functions of The Government of the Bahamas Online Tax Administration System.  Click HERE if no display above.

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Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty honours top producers for 2014
Submitted by Maxine Hussey   

Agents Mark Hussey, Jonathan Morris and Stan Sawyer receive awards

Mark Hussey achieves his 4th award for overall Top Producer of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty and as 2014 Top Listing Agent.NASSAU, Bahamas -- At the start of the company’s 70th year as The Bahamas Luxury Real Estate Leader, and as the company celebrates sales that double the dollar amount than that of the entire Bahamas Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in 2014, Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to announce Mark Hussey, Jonathan Morris and Stan Sawyer as their Top Producers of 2014.

Mark Hussey achieves his 4th award for overall Top Producer of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty and as 2014 Top Listing Agent. In speaking with president George Damianos he says of Hussey’s milestone, “congratulations to Mark Hussey for emerging once again as the company’s Top Producer for 2014. We are very proud of Mark and our entire sales team of 22 at Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty for having sold more than double the dollar amount than that of the entire Bahamas Multiple Listing Service sold in 2014.”

Hussey, who celebrates ten years with the company this month, says of his achievement, “My success came via securing listings. As my two brokers always taught me: control the listings, control the market. I successfully created a strong position amongst my peers by being attentive, proactive and responsive. My reputation has been key to my success and in turn referrals came to me.”

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BTC issues statement on VAT
Submitted by Serena Williams   

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited, BTC is responding to customer complaints about the ‘double charging’ of value added tax on prepaid mobile top-up by vendors. For clarity, BTC wishes to advise that VAT is not charged at the point of purchase for mobile top-up. VAT is charged at the point of usage only for all prepaid mobile services. As such customers are charged VAT for all calls, text messages, and data plans.

BTC CEO, Leon Williams stated “BTC has been preparing for VAT for over one year. We’ve had numerous training sessions with our employees and our master distributors to ensure that everyone was informed and trained prior to the implementation of VAT. We are unequivocally stating to customers, not to purchase mobile top up from vendors that are charging VAT on mobile top up purchases, and to report those instances of abuse to BTC. We have established a dedicated hotline to answering VAT questions, queries and complaints.”

BTC notes that there have been some isolated complaints from customers, indicating that they have been charged VAT at the point of purchase. These complaints are being addressed, and customers are asked to continue to report these instances, and the merchant involved. Customers are asked to call BTC at 225-5282 to make these reports. All calls to 225-5282 are toll free.

BTC will continue in its efforts to provide necessary information on charges relative to VAT.

 
Bahamas rated #1 in private aviation
Submitted by Kendea Smith   

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Bahamas was recently declared number one in private aviation beating out regional competitors like St. Barts, St. Martin and Turks & Caicos, banking in almost $300 million.

According to figures supplied by PrivateFly from WINGX, there were 12,566 charter flights to the 10 busiest Caribbean airports alone from November 2013 to April 2014 – the high season for travel.

Based on data from Prince & Associates showing that private jets bring an average of $69,000 in spend to the destinations they visit (excluding fuel and landing fees), private jet travelers brought some $867 million in spending to the destinations where the top 10 airports were located.

Officials say the top destination was Nassau, which brought in over $278 million from private airliners alone.

Chief Pilot and Aviation Specialist for the Ministry of Tourism Greg Rolle, who has responsibility for private airliners, said it was a part of the ministry’s objectives to make the country number one in private aviation.

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Prime Minister Christie delivers his inaugural address as CARICOM Chairman at the first China/CELAC Forum
Written by BIS   

Bahamas Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie delivers his inaugural address as CARICOM Chairman at the first China/CELAC Forum held in Beijing, China on the 8th January 2014.BEIJING, China -- A proposal to acquire funds from China’s $3 billion dollar investment fund will be made on behalf of the Bahamas is among initiatives that the Bahamas will pursue in coming weeks.

Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie made the announcement during his remarks at the first ministerial meeting of the CELAC-CHINA (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Forum in Beijing China on Thursday, January 8. Mr. Christie is representing CARICOM countries.

“Mr. Chairman, I return to the themes raised by my predecessor as CARICOM Chair Prime Minister Gaston Browne at the meeting of the Heads of States and Government of China and CELAC on 17th July, 2014 in Port of Spain, Trinidad,” said Mr. Christie. “Welcoming the 3 billion dollar commitment on China’s part for investment on concessional terms. We will be raising at the Conference the proposal to use this funding for budget support, as well as debt restructuring and refinancing.”

In addition, Mr. Christie said that the Bahamian government will also be promoting opportunities for investment in the energy sector, gas exploration, mining, forestry, tourism, airline services, financial services, agriculture and fisheries.

He explained that given that energy, water, sanitation, coastal protection, and protection of critical coastal infrastructure are central to the capacity of CARICOM countries, all efforts must be considered to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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