RIA Resorts Given 30-yr Tax Break

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Partial view of Representatives voting to approve the RIA 30-year tax holiday in Tuesday’s session

Thirty-four (34) of the 73 Representatives on Capitol Hill during Tuesday’s session voted to ratify a 30-year Investment Incentive Agreement between Liberia and the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Hotel Resorts, Incorporated.

In Tuesday’s session, there were 38 Representatives present, and 34 of them voted overwhelmingly for the passage of the agreement.

The Lawmakers unanimously voted for the passage of the ‘Tax Holiday,’ following a report from the Joint Committee on Investment and Concession and Judiciary.

The report argued that the hotel or tourism business is a struggling industry in Liberia, and should therefore enjoy a tax holiday.

Representative Zoe E. Pennue, chairman on the House Committee on Investment and Concession, said the agreement would initiate the construction of a hotel and resort comprising 164 rooms and suites, a presidential suite and provide 1,000 jobs and additional electricity to the airport and its environs. He said these will further create a modern and healthy condition in and around the airport in accordance with generally accepted health and sanitation procedures and laws.

Rep. Pennue said the hotel would include a coffee shop, restaurant and bar, banking and/or currency exchange facilities including automatic teller machines (ATM), pool and spa, health and fitness center, multiple conference rooms, internet access, multiple shops selling non-prescription drugs, gifts, sundried flowers, apparel, newspapers and magazines.

“The needs of business travelers and airline personnel for whom proximity to the airport is important, as well as other analyses conducted concerning the demand for hotel capacity and the historically low rate of hotel development in Liberia, demonstrates that the hotel would serve unmet and new market demands,” Rep. Pennue said.

“The investor has financed in excess of US$20 million in the construction and development of the hotel and is seeking certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to ensure the viability of the benefits to the country.”

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf submitted the ‘tax cut agreement.’

Meanwhile, a second tax cut agreement is under review by the House, titled, “The Investment Incentive Agreement between the Liberian Government and Musons Group Incorporated,” a local construction firm with an investment of over US$70 million.

The President said the purpose of the agreement is to actualize government’s initiative of attracting and encouraging investment in the country.

The agreement was signed by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the National Investment Commission, and attested to by the Ministry of Justice on behalf of the Executive.

“The investment contract is intended for the construction, development and maintenance of a 210-room state-of-the-art hotel and recreational facilities in Marshall, Margibi County.

“These recreational facilities when completed will develop the tourism sector, provide jobs, generate revenue, provide opportunities for Liberians to showcase their talents and improve the livelihood of the citizens,” the President wrote.

“The aim and objective of this agreement is to develop and put Liberia’s hotel and tourism sectors on par with other developed nations, encourage the construction of facilities that will attract world leaders and other world dignitaries to consider hosting major conferences and other global activities in the country.

“Mr. Speaker, this Investment Incentive Agreement that is in line with Liberia’s relevant laws and public policy appertaining thereto, compliments the development plan of the hotel and resort sector thereby attracting tourists.

“As government commits to creating jobs and a sustainable economic environment, the passage into law of this agreement will demonstrate Liberia’s commitment and implementation in that endeavor.”

23 COMMENTS

  1. Liberians should hope that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s quest for tax exempt packages are
    not intended to rid the incoming Government of any or enough tax revenue; thus making it
    difficult for that Government to work happily and achieve some meaningful objectives.

  2. Tax breaks for companies are awesome but for 30-yr is absolutely insane. How would government measure progress. This is the side effects for 30-yr tax breaks that would affect the bottom line. When companies pay taxes to government,citizens benefit. Haha 30-yr tax breaks definitely means longer lines at both senators and representatives homes for beggars because few taxes paid go towards only salary. @least 5-yr is reasonable to determine whether business is improving or declining to pay tax or not to. Our honorable ppl think everyone in Liberia is making the same salary they’re making or enjoying like them. This administration is not pro-life but instead a dead trap

  3. Tax breaks for companies are awesome but for 30-yr is absolutely insane. How would government measure progress. This is the side effects for 30-yr tax breaks that would affect the bottom line. When companies pay taxes to government,citizens benefit. Haha 30-yr tax breaks definitely means longer lines at both senators and representatives homes for beggars because few taxes paid go towards only salary. @least 5-yr is reasonable to determine whether business is improving or declining to pay tax or not to. Our honorable ppl think everyone in Liberia is making the same salary they’re making or enjoying like them. This administration is not pro-life but instead a death trap

    • Totally concur! With colossal failure in an economic strategy that was export-led with emphasis placed on the extractive industry, e.g., iron ore, rubber, palm products, oil,etc.–which failed to generate the much needed revenue to spur economic development; the regime, in its final days, by all intents and purposes, appears desperate and is digging deep and pulling the last straw of “voodoo economics” to mortgage the country to the highest bidder. Liberians should no longer be fooled by these bogus ‘concession’ agreements that has brought more suffering and poverty to our people than ever before!

      • Kpanneh, we are the few that still believe that our former colleagues in the struggle for “RICE AND RIGHTS” were anything but pretenders and thieves masquerading as patriots. Like I told Dr. Sawyer in 1977, there is a marked difference between a a Kpanneh Doe, Sayku Kromah, John Stewart and a Commeneh Wesseh and the likes. You did not have to read the “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” to know that these guys were just hyenas who falsely entertained the notion that Liberian elites where all thieves. Most Liberian elites got their wealth through hard work, and trading not through tricks and artifice, like the gang of thieves now swindling the country. The day of reckoning is nearer than they think.

        • So true, Sayku! One has to wonder where is the economic thinking that goes into such legislation, if it is not self-serving for the current political elites!

  4. It is possible that some big Liberian politicians have some stakes in these hotels that will be the beneficiaries of these lengthy tax breaks

  5. Wow! This is one of the craziest, reasonable and unpatriotic decisions ever made by criminals parading as leaders. I do not think that these so-called Lawmakers understand the economic impact of such stupid decision. 30 years tax free makes absolutely no sense at all. I’m sure some criminal minded higher up in this administration has some investment in this hotel and want to ride on the Liberian people for the next 30 years. My hope is that the incoming government will reverse this insane decision. What were they thinking my people? Are Liberians really listening and keeping eyes on these criminals parading as leaders in Liberia?

  6. If past government can give 99 yrs lease agreement to Firestone then what about 30yrs to a hotel management? If it will be given to investor in Margibi then let it also be applied to other hotels like Royal and other that gave facelift to during the time of our crisis. 30yrs too much.

    • All I want to know is who are the owners of this project. Are they Liberians , if not, who are the Liberians that have interest in this venture?

  7. I can’t just understand this deal, bunch of idiots calling themselves law makers. Only God can saves Liberia from this mess. What a shame.

  8. If reseat well, the real owners of the businesses that are to benefit from such tax holiday are close relatives of the president, Madam Sirleaf…..

  9. It’s disheartening to see this band of thieves celebrating a passage of an act that will rob the very people they claimed to represent. Are we that stupid or crused to learn from the past Bad investment decisions?
    You will have three generations paying for this noble decision. I will be 67 years old, my daughter will be 46 years old and if she has kids they will have to wait until this sweetheart deal is over.
    We have no “deal makers/ contract negotiators at all in Liberia”, every concession agreement has been dictated to our dishonorable men/women in government as long it benefits them.
    Wise up folks we have almost nothing left for ourselves and the next generation.

  10. Every now and then, mst liberian politicians including the progressives rain insults on pres. CD King and others for the firestone agreement. The past leaders are referred to as being illiterate or less educated for signing the firestone agreement. Today, with the graduates from the topnotched universities in our country, we vote 30year tax break for 20million dollars investment. Liberians(politicians) must apologize to the past leaders. This election year, representatives want campaign jahfey.

  11. This is my take! Before critizing this action of these honorable men and women let’s look a little deeper into this agreement and do some calculation. Over the 30yrs period how much do the govt. sand to loose in taxes from this project compare to what it stand to gain considering the employment of Lib. who will contribute to the overall economic. Secondly, the project it self should spur economic development in an area which is domen at this time. I would suggest we pressure our law makers to include some conditions in this agreement that guarantee all what the company has agree to is executed, if not the tax waiver is withdrawn. Now, it is left to the regulators to make sure this agreement is fully implimented. Guys these honorable men and women need a lot of help. And it is us who have been blessed with some understanding of how govt. and business operate to offer some schooling to them. If we don’t this once bacon of hope on the continent of Africa during the early days of post colonialist shell vanish.

  12. Greetings mr. Tahoe

    How can you compare the 99 yes lease to this 3 years lease. Kindly explain for some of us. Kind regards

  13. Mr. Tahyor..(correction)

    How can you compare the 99 years lease with this 30 years tax break. Please explain.

    Kind regards

  14. Mr. Tahyor..(correction)

    How can you compare the 99 years lease with this 30 years tax break. Please explain.

    It is important that when one is commenting on such an important issue that you give clarity.

    Kind regards

  15. Of course they will be smiling. This is where they will be fornicating. Useless and worthless. Small business owners crying for help and these
    useless ants giving money away

  16. My concerns are, 1) who are to get jobs? Liberians or foreigners? 2) why 30 years? I think 30 years is not a good deal.

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