Real estate developers applaud government’s adjustment of CBI fees
Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Real estate developers across St. Kitts and Nevis are applauding the decision taken by the Team Unity administration for adjusting the government fees downward to $75,000 for a family of four under the real estate option of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
In making the announcement during the Feb. 13 sitting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, who also serves as minister of finance, said the decision came in response to competing demands and in an effort to support real estate developers in the CBI business.
“They [real estate developers] made a case to the Cabinet,” he said. “Cabinet received that case and determined that we could assist in further giving a boost to our real estate programme by making an adjustment in the fees. And so we have decided that the government fees will be adjusted to $75,000 for a family of four.”
The prime minister emphasized that the adjusted fee not only makes St. Kitts and Nevis more competitive, but at the same time it maintains the federation’s programme “above the threshold in other CBI jurisdictions.”
On Feb. 14, the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister spoke with local developer Faron Lawrence, who welcomed this decision taken by the government: “If we are going to keep this industry and continue to benefit from it like we have benefitted from it over the last years, then we have no choice but to be competitive with our neighbours, who clearly are trying to take away the business from us; so really and truly, I welcome it.”
Lawrence owns and operates SKN Homes, the real estate company responsible for the Cane Grove Housing Development at Douglas’ Estate, St. Peters. “For me, it shows that the government and we as a people can adapt to change as the future demands it, so that we can stay competitive and continue to ensure that our citizens benefit from what has been a tremendous industry for us,” he said.
Another real estate developer who attended the discussions with Cabinet officials said he was particularly pleased with the fact that government leaders were welcoming and quite receptive of their views as it relates to the CBI programme. “The important thing is that the government listened to what we the developers had to say because we are the ones who are out there in the market,” he said. “For this to have happened shows that we have a government that understands what is happening in the citizenship by investment market, and so we are grateful.”
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme, which continues to be the leading programme in the Caribbean, has been one of the largest contributors to the construction growth in the country.