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UDC Appoints New Incentive Recommendation Committee

A new Incentive Recommendation Committee (IRC) comprising eight members has been appointed to oversee the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) administered, Tax Incentive Programme for Urban Renewal (TIP).

The members include Mrs. Cheronne Allen, Manager, Planning and Policy JAMPRO, Mr. Milton Martin, Quantity Surveyor, Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mr. Michael Edwards, Councillor, St. Catherine Parish Council, Mr. Donald Hamilton and Mr. Anthony Smith, both Deputy General Managers, UDC, Mr. Francis Kennedy, President, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Ian Scarlett, Director, Taxation Policy Division, Ministry of Finance and Planning. The team is chaired by Mr. Peter Goldson, Partner, Myers, Fletchers and Gordon.

The Tax Incentive Programme is managed by the UDC and applications for incentives are processed and recommended by the IRC for submission to the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

The IRC was established in October 1995 and is a committee consisting of representatives from both private sector and government organizations. The tenure of IRC members is two years. The main responsibility of the IRC is to conduct assessments of applications to ensure that they meet the requirements and intent of the Urban Renewal (Tax Relief) Act, 1995 and make recommendations to the Minister of Finance and Planning..

The Tax Incentive Programme is managed by the UDC, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Planning and aims to garner the support of the private sector in arresting urban decay by encouraging the redevelopment of property in blighted areas. The programme accomplishes this by enabling persons who either own or lease property in areas defined as Special Development Areas (SDAs) to access incentives to redevelop the properties under the Urban Renewal (Tax Relief) Act which was established in 1995. A Special Development Area is one which is declared by the minister responsible for urban development for the purpose of urban renewal.

Under the Tax Incentive Programme, tax relief is offered to companies or individuals undertaking capital investments in either land or buildings. These can be residential or commercial holdings. Tax Incentives are offered to both owners and lessees of property in the SDAs. The four incentives offered are Urban Renewal Bonds, Investment Tax Credit, Tax Free Rental Income and Exemption from Transfer Tax.

The Tax Incentive Programme was first introduced in 1995 to downtown Kingston, extended to Port Royal in 1996, Montego Bay in 2000 and Spanish Town in 2008. Beneficiaries of the programme include Courts Jamaica, Grace Kennedy, and Jamaica National General Insurance Company (formerly NEM Insurance), Konvertra Limited, Guardsman and Digicel.

The programme is currently in effect for downtown Kingston and Spanish Town.