Four development deals still secret

| 02/03/2021 | 178 Comments

(CNS): Government signed at least four non-disclosure agreements with developers for major projects over the last administration in which duty or fees have been waived. But voters will not get to see what revenue has been forfeited, for what reason and who benefits, at least not before the elections. CNS made a freedom of information request nearly six months ago for the details of all government development deals and has been told it cannot see one word of these four secret agreements.

While CNS has succeeded in lifting the lid on some developments and exposing the extent of the public purse losses for some projects, the details of those benefiting from the tax-breaks has not always been clear.

And there are at least four projects where government has signed deals to prevent the public from ever knowing the extent of the giveaways.

While the auditor general and the information commissioner, now the ombudsman’s office, have all said that government should avoid secret contracts when giving away public money, it has nevertheless persisted in keeping a lid on who gets what waivers on certain deals.

CNS has appealed the refusals and the ombudsman has now accepted that appeal. But given the legalities relating to the agreements, it may be very difficult for us to get to see anything more than the most basic information.

Development has been a key part of the last few administrations, with politicians courting developers to secure inward investment. Premier Alden McLaughlin has also made it a central part of the campaign platform for the coalition, but there is a growing public backlash against uncontrolled development for a multitude of reasons.

Environmental issues are at the forefront of concerns about the pace and type of development that has been happening in Cayman over the last two decades. Coastal development is now visibly taking a massive toll on the beach and the marine environment. But there are also economic concerns, as people increasingly question exactly who does this endless development benefit, especially when it is putting pressure on poorly funded local infrastructure. Many Caymanians see no direct or even indirect benefits, especially when government is giving away the fees.

Samuel Jackson, who is running for office in a head to head fight against McLaughlin, has been called the ‘developers’ rep’ but he has rejected that label. Jackson believes that Cayman has to completely rethink its so-called development dependency.

“How can we be dependent on development when we are giving away the very revenue that we are suppose to earn from it,” he recently told CNS. “We are like a drug addict who is giving away his drugs.”

With the removal of infrastructure fees and contributions and the constant major waivers on huge projects, Cayman is no longer befitting from development, which is putting unsustainable pressure on infrastructure, he said.

Johann Moxam, his political ally in the 2021 race, also raised his concerns about the secrecy of the deals. Moxam, who is challenging Joey Hew, the current planning minister, for his George Town North seat, said this refusal to release the details of these deals was another example of mismanagement and poor governance.

“How can we trust a minister who has no interest in the principles of transparency and does not believe government should be held accountable,” he told CNS on hearing about the battle for the deals.

“They have always operated in the darkness,” Moxam said, adding that the current PPM-led administration simply does not believe that the people need to know. “Governments should not be allowed to give away future public revenues and then not explain the reasons. They should not be withholding details about the management of public money. The people deserve and should be able to get reasonable answers to questions about these deals.”

Moxam said there are no national security implications so why should these deals be secret when they are purely commercial. “So it begs the question, what else are they hiding from the people.”

The issue of development and what is seen as the push towards endless growth will be a major point of contention between the sides that are emerging in this campaign. On the one hand there is the PPM-led coalition and Bush’s West Bay team, both of which are largely in favour of continuing to court developers.

On the other is the emerging alliances, such as the Bodden Town trio led by Wayne Panton and the line-up between the younger team coalescing around Moxam, that want to see a a new approach to development that must be part of a wider national plan.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: development, Government Finance, Local News, Politics

Comments (178)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    To understand the PPM you have under the leadership. Contrary to popular belief Alden is not the real leader, Kurt Tibbetts is. Kurt is the one behind the scenes organising the concessions for his clients and he is the one who is collecting close to $1million a year consultancy fees from Dart, Bronte Development, NCB Development, Fraser Wellon and anyone who wants a revenue concession or planning law waiver. XXXX

    Since he is not elected, he is not bound by any of the laws like the standards in public life so he is somewhat protected but using his influence XXXX. So when he brings your chicken and ham, smiles and jokes with you and tells you to vote ppm, remember that you are selling your children’s future for chicken and ham while he builds apartments for his children XXXX. It was Kurt who instructed the ppm not to remove Mckeeva otherwise the marriage of convenience would collapse and he would no longer be of any value to his friends who he consults for.

    Ask yourself this question, other than chicken and ham, do I have anything to show for all the years I voted for the ppm and, by extension since they are now one and the same, the UDP? Our children are educated and cannot get jobs but theirs have good jobs. Our children can no longer find affordable land to buy but they have many acres to give their children and make secret deals with their friends to give away the very same revenue the government needs to buy/secure decent land for affordable housing.

    The UDP and PPM (remember they are now one and the same) have been in power since November 2001 so it can safely be said that every difficulty we now struggle with (social, financial, housing, education, employment, health insurance, traffic congestion, over-development, having to prove you are Caymanian when applying for jobs, etc.) can be attributed to the inept leadership of McKeeva, Kurt, Alden, and Moses. Everything! But not one person in their family or their friends are struggling; only you who fall for the chicken and ham without asking why or who is paying for it XXXX?

    Not sure if the PPM and UDP are one and the same? Ask yourself why election is 2 months early? It was done to avoid dealing with the Mckeeva conviction. Still not convinced? Don’t you realise that Mckeeva is not running one UDP candidate against any of the ppm candidates in any constituency? If you dislike Mckeeva and think he should not be speaker then understand that a vote for ppm is a vote for Mckeeva because if ppm win the election they will return Mckeeva as speaker. We are in west bay watching you in George Town. We will try our best in west bay but it is really you towners who can keep Mckeeva out of power.

    • Anonymous says:

      This post is a very sad accurate summary of local politics. The same influential people trading off of inside information at the expense of the general public time and time again. It is no co-incidence that Kurt Tibbetts arranged for Bronte development to be paid a hefty sum in return for land adjacent to Smith Cove. Kurt Tibbetts now has his fingerprints all over the deal bringing Bronte Development’s monstrosity to SMB.

    • JTB says:

      Excellent post, thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great comment. But how to get rid of JuJu? She … has no qualifications of any kind. Is Cayman going to continue paying her enormous compensation, benefits and perks? What for? In the real world she won’t get even an entry level job in a Mom&Pop shop.

      CNS: Your pants are on fire or you’re an idiot making assumptions. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly was a practicing attorney before entering politics. If she’d stayed where she was she likely would have made much more money than she has as a politician.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is NO way Kurt is receiving money from Dart after what he did to Ms Doak’s father many years ago.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shady, shifty snakes , all of them. Every politician for years now are all in if for themselves in one way or another. They do nothing for the people that in some way does not benefit themselves, they are the bottom feeders who somehow got you attention, your trust, and your votes. Every dam time. They are are snak oil salesman and should be banished from our shores. But alas, the majority of my fellow Caymanians are weak, Nieve, slow, and blind to it. Wake up my people. There is no reason we have to blindly , stupidly, follow these individuals down the wrong path, whether they are in our political arena or not, it is wrong, they are, wrong, and it should be stopped.
    Stop putting these obtuse , self concerned individuals in a position of power. How the UK has never stepped in is beyond me, they either don’t care or are to stupid themselves to recognize how piss poor this country is managed and run, God save Cayman.

  3. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    The obvious problem for decades has been the spineless electorate. The people have the power, but decade after decade there seems to be one thing and one thing only that they DO NOT CARE ABOUT.
    That would be their children’s future. Mind boggling beyond belief and extremely sad.
    The vast majority of the electorate simply can’t see past the incumbent spineless MLA’s who continue to do nothing for the future generation. In any other civilized country, any elected official who wouldn’t denounce violence against women would lose their job. Not here though.The biggest problem with Cayman is that women beaters are elected time and time and time again. Spineless men, just like the spineless electorate.
    Dah wha ya get

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ah oh sneaky sneaky!!! I’ll tell you my opinion- who cares! There should be another pension fund WITHDRAWAL from those grossly incompetent excessively over charging 1.5% per year pension funds. This isn’t sneaky sneaky this is blatant taking money out of your purse/wallet for a service a nutless chimp could provide.
    If no stimulus cheques then there should be another pension WITHDRAWAL

  5. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians too far back of the bus to get anything done by and for themselves. They need others to do the work and the thinking. But at least Cayman culture keeps them proud of themselves.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      If you’d had said that to any of our elders, they might put you on your ass to show you how wrong you are. Our heritage is of people who worked hard and forged something out of nothing but their word and their sweat. So what’s different? Different generation, sure, but is the heart of Cayman so different?

      I think much of it is representation; not so very long ago, our representatives worked for the people. Then, some of it, we did to ourselves, by allowing Caymanians to form companies and hire mostly expats. It’s not the fault of the expats — they are just trying to make their way like everyone else. No, it’s our fault for allowing the standard to creep from “mostly Caymanian” to none at all. Work permits make more money for government coffers, but cost the people for whom CIG should answer to, their livelihoods and quality of life.

      • J. Appleseed says:

        Ah-h-h-h, the problem is greed! Pure and simple greed! Humans are all greedy, the only difference is in how much greed any individual has. Our elected officials have an astounding amount of greed. They see that their partners in government are getting rich by stealing the peoples money. It’s like fruit on a tree…… so easy to steal….. and the greed gets stronger every time it happens and no action is taken concerning the theft. Thieves never change. The more they steal, the more they want. IT IS OBVIOUS, but no one seems to care. Well, I care, and I am not supporting any of the rich theives in our government. Enough is enough!

      • Anonymous says:

        I would say it might also be the successive governments that have failed to provide Caymanians with a decent standard of education and the skills necessary to succeed in the big industries that are the backbone of the island.

        They’re too busy courting the rich.

  6. J. A. Roy Bodden says:

    I have asked the question from my earliest investigation into Caymanian society from back in 1978. Today , in this era of corrupt politicians and economic inequality which sees the middle class Caymanian getting further marginalised my question remains as relevant as ever .

    For whom are we developing ?

    • Anonymous says:

      We are developing fo obtain income for…
      Funding the NAU and all the baby mamas
      The Police service
      The hospital service
      Funding for the NRA and roads
      Pensions for the seafarers.
      First class travel and hotels for politicians
      Civil service salaries and pensions
      The list is long and to pay for it without income tax, income from developments is essential.

      • Anonymous says:

        Giving away PR to those who simply build a large house and have no intention of building our community should come at a price. An annual ad valorem tax of 1% of value over the median-priced dwelling, i.e., > $1M value currently.

        • anonymous says:

          This is foolish talk and arrogance. Nobody realizes how good they have it when smart, good natured and successful people seek your land out and throw money into your economy to develop things there. The reason they come is because of our open economy, welcoming way and low tax ecosystem that attracted all people here in the first place. We are just one bad hurricane and a foolish tax like you describe from the whole cycle working in reverse, money fleeing, prices falling people leaving. Only the dumbest would propose something like this. Taxes like the one you propose in an isolated, hurricane prone mosquito infested island would bring the Country a 20 year cycle of misery where none of us can figure out exactly where it all went wrong. If you want prosperity bring large houses and development. If you want peace and quiet move to the Brac or Little.

          • Anonymous says:

            @ 5:33 pm; You must be some kind of nut. NOBODY has less respect for Caymanians than Mr. Dart! He has rapidly bought most everything needed to control the Cayman Islands……… including the hogs at the trough.

            When he has all he can get, he will leave and continue taking from other places.

    • Anonymous says:

      For whom are we developing? Why, our fearless leaders in our government! They get richer and we get “presents” to vote for the “right” candidates. This is the Cayman Islands!

    • Anonymous says:

      The middle class Caymanian is far better off and less marginalised than the middle class in the UK and the US (hence Brexit and Trumpism) and development here (and all that has brought with it) is the main reason for that. If you can’t see that development has been good for Caymanians, then perhaps you should think back to the days of your youth, when life meant smoke pots, cook rums, no a/c and lots of walking to get to places. That might bring a sense of pleasant nostalgia to you, but the youth of Cayman (which are FAR better off than youth in your time) want no part of your warm and fuzzy reminiscences. Of that, I am absolutely sure.

      • anonymous says:

        Very well said.

      • Anonymous says:

        You sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Cayman was simply a better place in the 70s, 80s and even 90s. And we do have the ability to slow down development, without having to go back to “smoke pots, cook rums, no a/c and lots of walking to get to places”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Anonymous at 7:50 pm: Well, your comment is something to read but I don’t believe it will wash. We were happier and better off in the old days. We…… as you said… didn’t live in paradise, but as I remember we had fun and freedom and very few people trying to manage our lives and “look after us”, and I don’t remember ganja being a problem and I don’t believe other drugs were as they are today. And don’t forget today’s politicians!!! NEVER have the peolpe of the Caymans been flim-flammed and ripped off like they are now! In my time I have been many places….. but I always came back to my islands, and I pray we get honest leaders for a change.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is, most Caymanians don’t want to be middle class. Look at the cars we drive, the jewelry we wear, the airs we put on. We see rich lawyers and accountants and we want that. Let’s not play the victim of selfish developers, Roy. We have reaped plenty from development, but the problem is, it’s not enough; we want more, more, more.

    • Anonymous says:

      And like so many fine people in the world, their governments are not worthy of them. Democracy is, indeed, the very worst form of government but for all the rest. (Winnie)

    • Anonymous says:

      As with the development of so many beautiful but exploitable island countries, development is to attract the rich to come consume whilst locals consist of a few well-paid poo-bah fixers and many low-paid servants.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Secret bureaucracy, it’s just a lie
    The devil’s henchmen, in suit and tie
    A sacred brotherhood, an ancient rite
    Politicians and the double lives they hide

    Violate your rights, no more equality
    Surrender freedom, your Social Security
    We the people face unconstitutional lies
    In greed we trust, in revolution we die

  8. Naya Boy says:

    Dearest 7:58 am I am going to tell you a little story a very wise mentor imparted on me. One day little bird was flying home and it started to rain very hard his wings became soaked and then the wind started to blow hard and it got so cold his wings froze up. He then fell out of the sky into a huge pile of Shit and began to drown and die in this pile shit. A huge cat came along pulled him out of the shit licked him off got his wings flapping again then promptly ate him. The moral of the story is those who get you out of shit not necessarily your friend!

  9. Anonymous says:

    How do we know there are only 4 secret deals? Could be 40.

  10. Naya Boy says:

    Why are we voting for people who are clearly destroying Cayman! Because they did there job that they are well paid to do in a global pandemic ??? That ideology is not a reason to reelect a destructive political menace if that is what you doing it’s truly pitiful Cayman !

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot !

      Many leaders around the world were well paid and still didn’t do their job during the global pandemic ~ even worse these leaders still continue to ££&& up.

      I agree that Cayman is being destroyed piece by piece through stupid developments but Christ give our leaders some due – the fact is that they got the pandemic control right!

      • SSM345 says:

        Without their handling of the pandemic; which they copied from other Country’s handling of the pandemic i.e. New Zealand; what exactly did our Govt do/accomplish in their last term?

        Pray tell of their successes…….

        • Anonymous says:

          So why were other more advanced places not able to copy what we copied?

          • Anonymous says:

            Your on a tiny rock in the middle of nowhere. Your population doesn’t even fill up an NFL stadium. Your are a money laundering site, not a real business destination of come and go, and finally controlling a large country vs Cayman isn’t even in the same conversation. Does that answer you?

            • Anonymous says:

              Your answer truly does.

              You are a fester pit of seething envy, jealously and bitterness.

              Hope your offspring does not follow in your shit-laden footsteps.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote them out!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden and Moses brought the pandemic to our shores with one cruise ship.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This should be illegal. They serve us

  12. Anonymous says:

    A report covering 5 or 10 years that quantified how much direct and indirect revenues the government receives from these developments would be much more useful than hyperventilating without any real knowledge. With that said, concessions should be fully transparent.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If a homophobic politician can beat a woman in public while being video recorded and still keeps his job, how can you not expect secret deals between the government and developers? This is the tip of the iceberg. What will happen if it’s disclosed… not a damn thing!!! Business as usual in the Christian Islands…

    • Anonymous says:

      If a homophobic politician can beat a woman in public while being video recorded and still keeps his job..

      Then I should be able to blaze a spliff in public without any stupid ×¥×€×÷÷ consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Similar to Repubes [sic] in the US.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Remember your vote is secret “No Transparence Need”. MAKE SURE YOUR “X” Is to VOTE THEM OUT every last one

    VOTE FOR ELVIS for more transparency.

    • Anonymous says:

      And while you vote, remember everything you know about the concession give aways, and also remember that the handout you may have received, or the roof repair done to your house for free, was possible paid for by the same entities or people who receive those concessions! It was an investment into the future of more concessions, making it possible to keep the same traitors in power by paying you off! Wayne is more the guy who will give the jobs of young attorneys away, but wait that already happened, for every attorney on the island there can be one overseas and no work permit fees need to be paid for those. What about those concessions?

  15. DM says:

    Why keep the projects secret when developers have got away with so much in the open? Michael Ryan’s transfer of Ritz Carlton condos to a leading politician as a “sales commission” and the government’s decision not to collect the duty owed by Ryan on the construction of the hotel are both well known examples.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because this is, perhaps, more and bigger than what Ryan got… that was over a decade ago. We in the big leagues now….

      • DM says:

        It is still going on. Just take a walk around Fin Cayman. How on earth did Ryan get planning permission for that ugly building that is massively bigger than anything else in the area? The planning conditions related to protecting the local environment have been completely ignored. Will we ever know if any politicians own some of the condos?

        • Anonymous says:

          They don’t care and now they are basically bragging about it with no shame.

          More ignorant developers, more stush newcomer lifestyles and attitudes, more mangrove clearing, more inland flooding from hurricanes.

          Less housing for locals, less jobs for locals,
          less futures for Cayman’s future.

          Tone-deaf sellouts until the very end. Smfh.

          Sell out? Vote out!!

          • Anonymous says:

            Comments like this that say “vote them out” or something similar always seem to be popular. But as soon as you see a comment that says “vote for Sammy” or “vote for Johann” then these comments always have a fair few dislikes. I don’t live in Red Bay or GTN, but either of those two would have my vote if I did. You wanted good candidates? They’re here, and they will do whatever they can to make Cayman a better place to live. They’ve been doing so long before they started running.

  16. Anonymous says:

    and yet on the same CNS opening webpage, 7th story down ‘Killer Coral Threat Very Serious.

    I just don’t get it, do you ****wit developers & $glutton MP’s have your heads so far up your ***** that even considering the possibility of your contribution to global warming & climate change is invalid as long as there’s teak chairs on a tower block balcony overlooking the broad spectrum of developmental devastation. Irresponsible? – hardly, it’s a great deal more removed from common humanity than that

    • Anonymous says:

      hysterical stuff. stick to facts please.

      • Anonymous says:

        sure 3:49 let’s do that. The first fact is your denial, the second your ignorance, and the third, pomposity isn’t hysterical, it’s a real tragedy

  17. Unidentified says:

    But how do these developers benefit the community in general? Do they train Caymanians? What do they give back? Sponsor sports teams (that’s petty cash to them)? What I think government needs them to do and I wish our future MP’s would put into legislation is for this developers contribute to affordable housing. What is a few thousands when they rake millions!

    • Anonymous says:

      they only benefit contractors, local companies from whom the builders are forced to materials and foreign labour (mainly employer of Jamaican construction workers)….those are the only people to benefit. Govt is scared of both groups, the big developers and work permit holders, Jamaicans

    • Anonymous says:

      You can build all that stuff into the agreements. Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      They enable you to live in a stable place where hospitals, roads, schools, ambulance service etc are all provided without you having to pay income tax.
      Don’t take what the rest of the world would die to have, for granted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lmao what? Burying income tax into the extortionate taxes on absolutely everything else the common man touches but the millionaires don’t is hardly tax free.

        Sometimes it would be a damn site easier if they just taxed us like the rest of the world. At least the top lot would be paying something whilst they spend our tax money in parliament and give away the rest in concessions.

        But then they would probably make the law so that MPs were exempt.

      • Anonymous says:

        Learn how we got to pay no income tax before you come rub it in local faces.

        Please learn to respect local culture before you profit from changing it.

      • anonymous says:

        This is exactly right. People here have absolutely no clue how good we have it here. That or they don’t live here – are fake comments and trying to subvert what we have.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:10 When will CAYMANIANS Build SOMETHING for CAYMANIANS!

    • Anonymous says:

      That should be the job of your government.

      The fees your CIG collects on behalf of its people should go towards society safety nets.

      When they decide not to collect the fees, they are saying F You to the population and passing the buck to us in the form of import duties, licensing fees… etc.

      Sports team jerseys are but petty cash to the developers, you are 100% right. They just laugh all the way to the bank and the already massive divide in Cayman gets wider and wider.

      PAY ATTENTION

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yet try to get a stamp duty waiver from the like of the current minister Roy. He doesn’t know poverty or struggle so he is pro big money. How is it the ones who can afford to build these multi million dollar projects get the ease and we have to live in our parents house to no end! They are disgusting in how they revile their “own people”. Caymanians better start voting for some poor people who have tasted struggle and not the city slickers and their brood of vipers!

    Patawan the preacher!

    • Anonymous says:

      Minister McTaggart has been the easiest Finance Minister to work with ever regarding stamp duty queries, waivers etc

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what your problem is but Minister McTaggart has always assisted genuine persons that need assistance. If you were not lucky, then it means that you did not qualify, did not provide all information, you were awarded a waiver before, or you had the financial means to justify not getting a waiver.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you serious? You are blatantly saying that he helps certain people and not others.. None of us have the financial means that Michael Ryan, Dale Crighton or DART has but still they get waivers on concessions from Roy and Joey all day long..

        Worse part is Roy nor Joey can tell us what we are getting for giving away the people’s money..

        • Anonymous says:

          You are an idiot. Those deals were not done by Minister McTaggart, he inherited them from McKeeva. And guess what the next Minister for Finance, and many years worth of succession, will be inheriting them too.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:57 what part of your COMMENT make SENSE?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anyone remember that song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’? … “paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”, well, that’s what’s happening here and we must all do our part in trying to save the environment for future generations. I look around and all I see are large swaths of land/shoreline being cleared with no thought to the trees/mangroves that provide shade, protection from storms, home to wildlife, collection of moisture etc. etc. It is one of major concern, because all of this development requires an infrastructure and Cayman is just not prepared for it. I can’t even leave my house in BT before 9 in the morning unless I want to sit in traffic for an hour (if it’s not raining) for what normally would take me 20 minutes to get to town. Afternoon traffic just as bad if not worse. All those cars at a standstill creating another environmental problem with their exhaust fumes. So many trucks and heavy machinery on the roads. Beach erosion. Lord have mercy! How could such a small Island have so many problems? Elections are coming and we need representatives who will face the existing problems instead of creating new ones.

  20. Anonymous says:

    When governments are giving away the people’s money there should be No Non Disclosure agreements.

    In fact, the NDAs should be illegal and the persons signing any of these should go straight to jail.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re living in a fantasy world. NDAs are standard

    • Anonymous says:

      1:43 Do you know where the PEOPLE’S MONEY came from?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes numbnut !

        That money came from robber barons just like you that we allowed to rape and pillage this little Island.

        At least pay the drippings.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:00 Smart Alex, no ROBBER BARONS means, no PEOPLE’S MONEY
          simple, that came from the KINDERGARTEN!

          • Anonymous says:

            It hurt so much you little #£&*

            That you resorted to shouting

            That’s from the streets

            Suck it up ❤️

          • Anonymous says:

            12:22pm

            “Smart Alec, Smart Alek, Smart Aleck” it is

            But definitely not spelt as Smart Alex

            Basic Kinder stuff you know

            So yes, a growing in stature numbnut 😂

  21. Green Hornet says:

    So, let’s see who really benefits from all this.
    Funder/developer ABC buys or finances two new 20 room mega condo units and a 12 storey hotel called Paradise. After construction (with usual government duty free breaks) he decides to sell one condo unit to Funder/Corporation (F/C) XYZ, and the hotel two years later to Funder/Corporation (F/C) HIJ. Next year F/C sells to F/C LMN, who into turn resells 6 months later to F/C EFG….and so on and so in and so on….each time there’s a sale the prices go up and the F/C makes a killing. Hence the prices of all real estate continue to rise and the billionaires rub their hands gleefully as their assets continue to rise in value.
    Meanwhile Hotel Paradise continues to block book 90% of its rooms to a variety of overseas corporations for their employees – usually by the floor – although none of the corporation’s employees are ever seen during the booking times…but the tax write offs are huge…

  22. John says:

    If these are such great deals for the public why are they kept secret?

  23. Alan Greenspin says:

    Usual trickle up economics…

  24. Anonymous says:

    As&&HOLES !!! They alway pave the way for the Rich but the poor single mother can’t get a break on baby pampers or that elderly Caymanian who built this country had duties placed on their adult diapers /bed pad etc. and forced to pay full price even on discounted prices (meaning if these diapers were purchased on a discounted price Customs charge you on the original price). This action is a direct attack on the most vulnerable in our communities the elderly, sick and handicapped, but MIllions $$$ given as concessions to the RICH… Vote them all out!! The most honest politician on today’s ticket is ELVIS MCKEEVA at least we known what he stands for and I fully believe he would be more for ALLCaymanians and not like this bunch only for their own pockets. For transparency and A fair chance for the poor and forgotten I wish we could all vote for ELVIS. No weed no Vote!! 2021 let’s stand up and speak out with our “X” VOTE EVERYONE OF THEM OUT from CAYMAN BRAC TO WEST BAY!! Please wake up CAYMAN ISLANDS LETS TAKE IT BACK

  25. Anonymous says:

    You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Those new owners only paid 1/54th of the land value NOT the value of the units under the current pre construction stamp duty waiver that has been defunding our revenue for years.

    We have been losing revenue in multiple avenues with all these developments for ages now while providing the infrastructure for them from the public purse.

    The stamp duty waiver will thankfully be closing June 30 2021 …maybe you’ve seen all the developments pushing marketing to sell before Jhne 30th???. Now you know what that’s about. But I expect this current govt, if they get back in, will simply double down on other concessions to keep the developers happy and their pockets lined.

  26. Anonymous says:

    These shit straps who claim to be elected leaders and shroud their business dealings in secrecy are all Lodge.
    My question is why the hell do they keep getting elected?
    Who is responsible for foisting such garbage upon the people?
    There needs to be an additional box to tick on the ballot.

    No one. The system sucks.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sugar cost it any way, it’s still a public purse give away. I don’t believe for a minute that 99% of these developments wouldn’t have gone ahead anyway without the ‘tax’ breaks. Besides, if they are so above board, why were non disclosure agreements needed?

  28. Dexter Layman Ebanks says:

    People have to realize that irrespective of the down fall of the P.P.M – there are still some good and sincere persons in the present Government –
    The only problem I have with the above persons – they don’t have the “BALLS” to stand up to Alden and do what is Right for the people of the Cayman Islands
    Oh! by the way the above goes for McKeeva’s Previous Governments as well.
    Politics is supposed to be one of the oldest PROFFESSIONS and I have finally come to realize that it bears a close resemeblance to the first one
    This has nothing to do with sex – But boy over the years the People of these islands sure got screwed =
    Come on folks let’s stop voting on Personalities and vote for Candidates that can make a positive change in the lives of everyone that call these islands Home
    Dexter L Ebanks

  29. Anonymous says:

    Does not surprise me. This is this PPM-Unity government’s modus operandi.

    Keeping issues in private, while omitting to telling the public what the true story really is.

    Only thing is that some of know certain things this government does not think we know.

    Let’s see if they come clean or whether exposing them will be necessary.

    Trust me, it will be better for them to come clean instead of it being disclosed.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are very wrong. It was McKeeva that started this secretive deals…..Shetty, Dart, Ritz….none of these by PPM.

      The problem is these developers use the same law firms, that ensure their is a Confidential Clause, otherwise should there be a breach, they can then sue the Government. Samuel Rose has signed off on many non-favourable Government contracts as he is none the wiser and probably never read one page of them!

  30. Courtney Platt says:

    I’m still upset about the Beach Bay development which, against DOE recommendations will extend over turtle nesting sites and likely reflect waves and sand, washing out the beach during storms. We need environmental concern to be represented in the CPA and in Parliament. That project is a prime example.

  31. Anonymous says:

    concession are part of the deal…cyaman benefits in the long run.
    but it should be all open book and above board.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The PPM slogan should say Better Future For The Rich.

  33. Anonymous says:

    They are giving our country away. Vote them all out!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    50 storey building coming to Seven Mile Beach Corridor next year.

    • Anonymous says:

      LMAO to y’all downvoting. Like it or don’t, that won’t stop it from happening.

      Power/fiber optics/phone infrastructure etc. has already been set up.

      I promise you, it IS coming. And sooner than you think.

  35. Bobo In West Bay says:

    Developer pay offs have been made so must remain a state secret.

    Developers rule.

    • Johann Moxam says:

      Where is the Auditor General report?
      Where is RCIPS Financial Crime Unit?
      Where are the audits of accounts and corporate entities for all relevant Politically Exposed Persons, Politicians, Public Officers and those entities that have secured contracts for services as a result of these projects and lucrative Development Agreements?

      If every thing is legitimate there should be nothing to hide. The lack of transparency is appalling yet defines the modus operandi of the current government and the ad hoc politicized decision making process of the current Minister of Infrastructure, Planning & Commerce.

      When all else is in doubt the simple solution is for the relevant authorities to follow the money….

      CAYMAN DESERVES BETTER

      Best regards

      Johann Moxam

      • anonymous says:

        Financial crime do we have one? I thought they where gone or too busy chasing scammers and not money launderers so sad no big fish all small fish wast of court time. I guess they got a award 2021 for best prosecutors.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Moxam,

        Have you ever done an FOI for something?

        I see CNS doing them all the time for us. Thank you, Wendy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Johann what is BETTER?

        • Anonymous says:

          Johann is a far better choice than Joey for Cayman. That is an easy choice. GTN voters cannot get this decision wrong Moxam has earned our respect and vote. We need change in 2021

        • Anonymous says:

          Everybody is tired of “Joey Who” using his minister post to hand Cayman to DART and every scrape-up calling themselves developers.

          Joey is beyond out of order and has no shame in selling out this country.

          @onthego_joe clearly has been running too fast with that broken leg.

          He has not served the people of George Town North, and I will not be voting for 4 more years of this nonsense.

          I’m voting straight!!

          • Hubert says:

            Will somebody dare ask Joey what he has done to help move THE DUMP which is in his constituency? Four years and NADA.

            Obviously not a priority project as Mount Trashmore becomes the largest mountain in the Caribbean.

      • Anonymous says:

        Johan,

        I’ve long felt that you seem to “have what it takes” but I’ve been wrong before when I noted the same in others, who ended up disappointing the electorate. So, if you’re successful, PLEASE don’t get sucked into the system. Please retain your will to speak out and be different instead of going with the flow and the status quo. Even if you’re not successful, please don’t stop your efforts. Many people who can vote for you are impressed and I hope enough will be to get you elected.

        I’m stuck in West Bay with few viable choices!!

    • Anonymous says:

      These facts are shocking. How do we stop the corruption? Are there any candidates who are honest and brave, worth bothering to consider? Thanks

      The smaller developments popping up everywhere seem secretive too. The coming Barkers Beach is the exception as the developers seem to be working with the community. Yet there is another development called Vimda owned by the Serpell believe, and no one is aware of it or how much it will ruin Barkers Beach Park. Terrible Situation.

  36. Anonymous says:

    “…when giving away public money”. CNS, that is such a misleading statement. These are construction waivers on developments, not payments to developers from the public purse.

    Take Watermark for example, which was granted some duty waivers on construction of around $8 million, as an incentive to partially de-risk a several hundred million dollar development. However, on completion, new owners will be paying around $26 million in stamp duty to the government (average $6.5 million purchase price per unit, times 54 units, times 7.5%). And each time a unit resells after completion, the government will get around $500K per unit in duty (several million dollars a year).

    Add to the duty coffers the duty on the millions of dollars spent to furnish all the units by the owners.

    This is called smart economic stimulus, not a public giveaway.

    • Miami Dave says:

      9:34, So should the general public not have a right before an election, to know about 4 major developments that will impact so many people on Grand Cayman?

      Whatever happened to transparency?

      • Anonymous says:

        9:45 Are you saying the Public should have a chance to stop the CONCRETE SUPPLIERS from MAKING MONEY!
        They have Loans too!

    • Anonymous says:

      i think you miss the points. If watermark wasn’t built by the developer due to an $8M giveaway, there are multiple developers who would have done so. Hence the term Giveaway.

      also, the need for transparency and a true dev plan has never been greater.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s not accurate. That water mark deal was done pre-covid. Back when it began it was just as likely the project was not started at all. This was not Dart money. There was lending involved and pre-sales and concessions got it off the ground.

    • Disgusted with the lack of reckless development says:

      Why should the developer be given any waiver at all? The people who can afford a $26MILLION condo can afford the stamp duty.

      No amount of $ will be worth the loss of the most precious commodity this island has – it’s crystal clear beaches. SMB will very soon look like Miami, with no public access except for those who can afford a $20m price tag. This government has sold it’s sole to the highest bidder. Disgusting on every level.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sold it’s “soul” not it’s ‘sole’. For goodness sake man, learn to read and write.

    • fed up says:

      at a 6.5 million purchase price per unit where is this risk you speak of?
      These developers are printing money and taking concessions on top of it. Are you telling me they wouldn’t build these condos unless they could get a concession?

    • Anonymous says:

      If these are good deals for both the developer and the country, then there is no need for secrecy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except the first sale usually doesn’t pay stamp tax and there are few aftermarket sales. Plus you would get these things anyway. No responsible project needs a duty waiver.

    • Anonymous says:

      New owners buy pre construction which is only a fraction of stamp duty revenue that you seem to think is being collected. Point being, avoid commenting on things you dont understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes 11:05, but they still pay some stamp duty. That’s the point.

        • Anonymous says:

          The land was probably worth $30,000,000, there are 54 units, stamp duty is 7.5%. This equals $41,666 stamp duty on each unit. $2.25 million overall from the development. Given $8 million in duty concessions, that’s a government give away of $5.75 million to the property developer.

          If we generously say the property was worth $50,000,000, that’s $3.75 million in stamp duty altogether, $69,444 per unit.

          Now, a regular Caymanian homebuyer buying a middling property in Savannah for $555,000-ish will pay $41,666 in stamp duty. Say they try and get a little closer into town and buy a house in Newlands for $925,000-ish and they will pay $69,444 in stamp duty.

          • Smart Money says:

            You are terrible at math. The land was worth 50mm and the developer pays stamp duty on that. The building is 170,000 square feet and building control gets it’s $XX per square foot to issue the permit. Government is already in the black on it’s stamp duty waiver. Now the real money comes in. 7 million per unit (the final average is closer to 9mm but let’s be conservative) X 54 = $378 million in direct sales X 7.5% = $28.3 million to government. But wait there’s more. On average 25% of those units resell over 5 years and at higher prices.. Some flip twice. $9mm X 13.5 X 7.5% is another $10mm or so in duty. That doesn’t take into account all the trickle down, decorating costs of 1mm per unit. furnishings etc etc etc. One Watermark can bring up to 75 million in revenue into government coffers in less than 5 years. Then 5-10 of the people who live there become investors and developers in their own right. The island was built on the back of these dollars. Feed a billionaire steak and caviar and 100 Caymanians can have lobster, snapper and a home of their own.

          • Anonymous says:

            You have no idea about stamp duty calculations. 7.5% on the land.

            Then 7.5% on EACH unit EVERY time it gets resold.

            The concessions are pocket change.

    • Anonymous says:

      This really started in earnest with Norm Klein’s Dart-CIG NRA Agreement, reluctantly published, and the other subsequent developers can now point to the jaw-dropping content and argue that something free must be given away to them as a fair leveling inducement. It’s almost as though the public has never read these materials. It’s all in there, and we can see it. DART developments were given duty waivers in 2016 that don’t expire until 2039, and watch that deadline be extended by way of some other deal. Not a dime in duty will be contributed back to the public purse, even while CIG gifted-away prime Public-owned Crown lands. The waivers extend to building materials, furniture, maintenance equipment, and waivers on re-sale stamp duties. Not only that, but extraordinary self-administrative latitudes were given to self-police their own properties. Meanwhile, years later, we have abandoned buildings and two tunnels to nowhere that were approved without a development plan, and nobody has been investigated/arrested/charged for okaying those! They are still getting stuff approved despite non-performance in so many areas. That’s not smart, or stimulating.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s coming. Sometimes it’s difficult to see, but we are on the cusp of an incredible boom here.

    • Anonymous says:

      But should still be public, why all the secrecy?

    • alaw says:

      9:34 That EXCEEDS the COMPREHENSION of the AVERAGE JOE!

    • Cheese Face says:

      I agree, but why the secrecy?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds likes DART’s PR Team.

    • Anonymous says:

      That leads me to the question- who supplies the fit outs like the kitchen and who has an interest in a local business that supplies luxury kitchens (and I don’t mean alt)

    • Anonymous says:

      Did Fraser Wellon really need CI$8M in waivers from the Government? would he have not built Watermark if he wasn’t getting the CI$8M from Government?

      Your numbers on stamp duty are way off as these are linked contracts which stamp duty is paid on land value only. There is still no way to track these customs duties. Many developers bring in materials, place them on the site where they get discounts and soon after move them to another site. Nobody seems to keep track of anything..Even Roy McTaggart could give an answer in this area.

      There is no way for you, Joey or anyone else to explain these things away.

      These secret deals need to stop. The economy and the Developers do not need that kind of help right now. Funds should be focused to help the smaller companies and developers to grow their business not to someone to make extra profit and

    • Anonymous says:

      IF that were true they would make the deals public.

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay 9:34 I can accept your arithmetic, but why the secrecy if it all comes down to making CIG richer? What lurks in the background

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely not a misleading statement. The developers are already making huge profits with or without waivers. That 8 million is staying in their pockets (or going into the politicians pockets maybe?) instead of coming into the public purse.

    • Anonymous says:

      Concessions represent straight profits for the developers before a brick is laid

    • Anonymous says:

      “$8 million …[on]… a several hundred million dollar development”.
      a) Still a give-away (so CNS not misleading).
      b) But easily defensible, as you did. (Which I take was your point.)
      c) Making the secrecy on other agreements more suspect.

    • Anonymous says:

      The stamp duty would still be paid by the purchaser without this stimulus. The concession goes straight to profit. A hotel is different because there are ongoing room taxes and greater overall local spending by its guests. In comparison, luxury condos generate relatively nominal ongoing revenue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, that might be true but there is also a huge additional burden on infrastructure caused by these developments. Those are paid for by the public purse.

      Give the developers waivers if you must but they should also be subject to planning gain.

      There can be no clearer example of where contributions should have been sought than with Hurleys Roundabout.

      We have Harbour Walk, Periwinkle, Arvia and Indigo Bay all feeding into to the biggest traffic bottleneck on the island.
      Surely, those developers should have been made to contribute to the public works that are undoubtedly going to be required to remedy the horrific traffic chaos that’s about to ensue?

      But this government are too busy lining pockets to give a damn about the quality of life of those living in easterly districts.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought the infrastructure/planning application fee is supposed to cover this burden?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please Tell where the PUBLICE PURSE come from!

      • Anonymous says:

        when the DAY COME and every thing reach a STANDSTILL
        y’all REMEMBER to dance!

      • Kismet says:

        There is an even bigger development planned for the same bottleneck area by developer Ergun Berksoy, going to Planning this month. 60+ acres, mega apartments and commercial buildings all feeding out of Red Bay….

      • anynonmoose says:

        There is going to be a bridge over that roundabout to funnel traffic to the eastern districts within less than 10 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent points

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.