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Dec 6, 2019

Hydro Maya Power Project Bill Gives Private Company Extended Tax Concessions

Louis Zabaneh

The Hydro Maya Power Project Bill, 2019 was brought before the Senate today. It is strictly a financial bill that seeks to extend the concession agreement that was signed in 1998 by the Esquivel Administration. The bill provides certain exemptions from taxes and duties to The Belize Hydroelectric Development and Management Company, which owns Hydro Maya and is the supplier of electricity to B.E.L.  Not much is known about the company and its operations and today questions were raised about what sort of tax exemptions the owners were receiving for an extended period. 


Dr. Louis Zabaneh, P.U.P. Senator

“The producer shall be exempt from all taxes measured by or imposed on receipts, income or profits and payroll and other employment taxes payable to the Government of Belize, its agencies, departments, political sub-divisions as well as local, regional or municipal governments. It goes on to clarify this payroll, it says that this exemption shall apply to all offices and employees of the producers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Belize. It then speaks dividends that would be exempted, payments to shareholders abroad and interest. It is quite extensive including exemptions from GST and import duties.”


Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Senator for Government Business

“It is true that this company enjoys these concessions and yes it is a fact that it is an extension based on some previous agreement but the picture most be seen as follows: that the fifteen cents than the thirty-one cents that we pay to Mexico. So when B.E.L. sells that power and there are times when the Mexican demand is high and therefore they don’t have the excess to sell us. It goes as high as fifty-five cents. So it is important to keep the domestic production however small because it contributes to that.”

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