Beach Recovery Project in Trouble

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by Jim in Cancun, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Jim in Cancun

    Jim in Cancun Guest

    +0 / 0
    Beach recovery Project Tumbles
    DOMINGO 09 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2008 10:57
    (My translation)
    The hero. Vicente Fox put up $20 million pesos for beach rebuilding.

    Just when everything indicated that the rebuilding, maintenance and conservation of the beaches would begin next January, some voices from the very hotel sector are speaking out and just may ruin the ambitious, expensive and necessary rescue of the Cancun and Riviera Maya beaches. A few weeks ago, an increase of 25% in the Beach usage tax was approved by the House of Representatives; this would generate the funds contemplated to pay the $280 million peso loan that Banobras (Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios) would make available to start the work at the beginnings of 2009. Nevertheless, the ex-President of the Hotel Association(AHC for its initials in Spanish), Roberto Cintrón Díaz del Castillo, made it known that there was never a public referendum on whether the new tax proposal would be acceptable or not.

    “It was something that was decided among 3 or 4 people and just because someone who lives next to me says OK, and why do I have to apy 25% more because those 4 people over there decided it, well, that is very arrogant, isn't it?”

    Even though he didn't mention them by name, it is easy to deduce that he is referring to Jesús Almaguer Salazar, current leader of the AHC; his boss José Chapur Zahoul, owner of the Palace Resort chain and Fernando García Zalvidea, controversial owner of the now sadly infamous Gran Caribe Real, because of his failed unilateral attempt to rebuild the beach in front of his own hotel.

    And Mr. Roberto self-importantly says: “When things are done that way, nothing turns out right;” and goes further to warn that when they try to collect this new tax there will be more than one hotelier “and many individuals” that will look for legal protection.

    People Deceived
    Unfortunately, it takes time to make very important decisions as well as that everyone has an opinion but the reality is that the Cancun coasts are starting to generate conflicts Cintrón Díaz del Castillo realizes and in spite of being part of the Hotel Association, he recognizes what many would like to minimize.

    “Of course people see it, they feel deceived because they still see the beaches in pictures, in the movies that come out but they get here and see that the ocean is hitting the seawall.”

    So those millions of pesos that might be obtained from the 25% might be in danger points out the tourism businessman, “surely there will be many who will oppose paying more than they are now paying”, and not necessarily will they have to be hoteliers because there are thousands of individuals living on the coast of Benito Juárez(Cancun).

    The General Manager and owner of hotel Flamingos, one of the most affected by the loss of a beach due to the passing of Wilma, considers that things are not being done well and added that the approved legislation for collecting the tax is discriminatory because it didn't confront and demand of the Federal government that it should pay as it should.

    Roberto Cintrón reflected and said that the hotels along the 12 kilometers from Punta Cancún to Punta Nizuc already pay a lot more for the land itself.

    Additionally, “they pay taxes for the federal beach zone and they pay all of the Federal and State taxes for the area; I don't know why they say “it's because they (the hoteliers)benefit from the beach, it is the country that benefits from the beach.”
    --------------------------------------original Spanish version
    Fox, el salvador
    El también ex titular del Club de Gerentes de Hoteles advierte que el problema es el de siempre: el político que siempre quiere decir la última palabra y en el caso de las playas sucedió con la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) lo mismo desde un principio. “Mientras no se haga una obra grande bien hecha, bien pensada y que no se la den a la comisión de la luz, porque la CFE hace muy bien su trabajo e incluso considero que es una compañía como ellos dicen, de nivel mundial –dice en tono sarcástico–, y sí lo son, pero no se dedican a construir playas.”

    Y reseña que después de 17 años de que no se hacía nada en las playas, tuvo que llegar el ex presidente Vicente Fox Quezada: “Me pregunto, qué hubiera pasado con la playa si no hubiera venido Fox y en un arranque de esos que tenía, de que tomaba decisiones así como así, pues que todos vieran que tomaba decisiones rápidas y se hacían las cosas, y entonces dijo van 20 millones de dólares.

    Un experto
    Por otra parte, Rodolfo Silva Casarín, director de Ingeniería de Costas y Puertos de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), señala vía telefónica desde la ciudad de México que faltó complementar el proyecto de 2006 tras el paso de Wilma y culpa de ello a los tres niveles de gobierno.

    “En su momento se le dio seguimiento, pero conforme pasó el tiempo se hizo en forma muy lenta, y las necesidades y pérdida de arena fueron más rápidas, eso es por un lado.

    Añade que reponer la arena dejó al sistema en las mismas condiciones antes que Emily (julio de 2005) o que Iván (septiembre 2004). “Si lo que quieren es que no se vaya la arena, pues se necesitará o una de dos: construir estructuras que puedan disminuir la capacidad de transporte de sedimentos, o la otra, que es mucho más compleja: reordenar a los hoteles para que estén en una zona que no haga más vulnerable al sistema y la barrera arrecifal.”

    En ese sentido, Silva Casarín apunta que no hay una instancia culpable, “creo que todos, aquí es desde el gobierno municipal, el estatal, que aunque ha trabajado ha ido muy lento, y el federal, que después del relleno de playas que se hizo en 2006 se desentendieron, o sea no se le dio seguimiento”
  2. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

    +0 / 0
    I was wondering about the beach tax increase. It's a big increase (though that tax isn't all that high in the first place), and it does seem that there ought to be public discussion of that increase.

    On the other beach means no tourists. If you look at it another way, what if they don't fix the beach and quit charging the tax at all? I'll bet everyone prefers paying that tax over having no beach and seeing their beach front investments shrink in value, or worse, get wrecked by the sea.
  3. Jim in Cancun

    Jim in Cancun Guest

    +0 / 0
    OUCH! From today's El Periódico--my translation.

    "Lunes 10 Noviembre, 2008
    While announcing that the Federal Light Company (Comisión Federal de Electricidad) (CFE) will start bidding this month for the rebuilding of the Cancun beaches, the President of the Cancun Hotel association,(AHC), Jesús Almaguer, indicated that the 25% increase in the Federal beach use, benefit and enjoyment tax for the Federal beaches was agreed upon by the owners of the hotels, “not with the Manager.”

    The businessman's clarification came as a result of the complaints from hoteliers like Roberto Cintrón, who stated that there was a possibility that some might go after court orders to avois paying the new rates approved by the National Congress that last month modified the Federal Budget.

    Cintrón told the press that the determination to increase the amounts for the use, benefit and enjoyment of the Federal beach zone – the creation of a new zone or category where Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Cozumel and tulum would be included-, was not discussed with all those involved but was decided only by a small group of businessmen among whom he mentioned José Chapur, Fernando García and Almaguer Salazar.

    Commenting on this, the Hotel Leader qualified his stance as “deplorable and selfish,” and pointed out that the he and Chapur took to the Congress was discussed with and accepted previously by the owners of the hotels, “not with the Managers.”

    “We will see; the owners are in agreement; I didn't want to get into an argument but the man(Roberto Cintrón) hasn't even participated in any project, hasn't been to any of the meetings, so his attitude seems to me deplorable and selfish because it is not positive in any sense and it's not right to try to knock down such a huge project with that kind of statements,” he expressed.

    Almaguer Salazar explained that the financial plan proposed and approved also by the federal government is very similar to the one originally presented to basically increase the property tax of those who live on the shores of Cancun.

    Nevertheless–he further explained- this wasn't possible because property tax is municipal in character and the money collected goes to the local treasury while it is the Federal government that charges for the beach usage tax.

    “It is the same with only a few variations but it also deals with an increase and the owners were in agreement and, with all respect, it was a decision of the owners, not the managers," he said.

    Concerning the progress of the beach recovery project, he added that it is in the final stages of the executive program and the terms of the bidding by invitation only which will begin this month.
    Lunes 10 Noviembre, 2008
    Al tiempo en que informó que la Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) lanzará en este mes, la licitación para aplicar las obras de recuperación de playas de Cancún, el presidente de la Asociación de Hoteles de Cancún (AHC), Jesús Almaguer, indicó que el aumento del 25 por ciento en el pago por el uso, goce y aprovechamiento de la zona federal marítimo terrestre, fue concensuado con los propietarios de los centros de hospedaje, “no con gerentes”.

    La aclaración del empresario surgió luego de las quejas venidas de hoteleros como Roberto Cintrón, quien declaró que existen posibilidades de recurrir a amparos para evitar el pago de las nuevas tarifas, aprobadas por el Congreso de la Unión, que el mes pasado modificó para ello la Ley Federal de Derechos.

    Cintrón dijo a la prensa que la determinación de aumentar los montos por el uso, goce y aprovechamiento de la zona federal –al crear una nueva zona o categoría en la que entraron Cancún, Riviera Maya, Cozumel y Tulum-, no se consultó con todos los involucrados, sino que lo decidió sólo un pequeño grupo de empresarios, entre los cuales citó a José Chapur, Fernando García y Almaguer Salazar.

    Al respecto, el dirigente hotelero calificó tal postura como “deplorable y egoísta”, y subrayó que la propuesta que Chapur y él llevaron al Congreso, fue consultada y aceptada previamente con los dueños de los hoteles, “no con los gerentes”.

    “Vamos a ver; los propietarios están de acuerdo; no quisiera entrar en confrontaciones, pero el señor (Roberto Cintrón) ni siquiera ha participado en ningún proyecto, no ha acudido a una sola reunión, entonces me parece deplorable y egoísta su actitud, porque no es propositiva en ningún sentido y no se vale que intente tirar un proyecto tan grande con ese tipo de declaraciones”, expresó.

    Almaguer Salazar explicó que el esquema financiero propuesto y aprobado también por el gobierno federal, es muy similar a lo que se sugirió originalmente, consistente en aumentar el impuesto predial a quienes vivan en la zona costera de Cancún.

    Sin embargo –detalló- esto no fue posible porque el impuesto predial es de carácter municipal y el dinero fruto de dichas recaudación va para las arcas locales, mientras que la competencia para cobrar por la explotación de la zona marítimo terrestre, es federal.

    “Es lo mismo, sólo con algunas variantes, pero también se trata de un aumento y los propietarios estuvieron de acuerdos; insisto, con todo respeto, fue una decisión de propietarios, no de gerentes”, sostuvo.

    Sobre los avances del proyecto de restauración de playas, agregó que se está en la fase de culminar el proyecto ejecutivo y los términos de la licitación, que será por invitación directa y se lanzará en este mes.
  4. Life_N_Cancun

    Life_N_Cancun Guest

    +0 / 0
    What Idiocy!!!

    Do the hotel owners not realize that they will easily recoup that tax increase in the higher number of tourists that will come here once the beach is back, vs. losing even more by the lessening of those same tourists who would rather go somewhere that has a beach?!!???!!

    Just another prime example of people who only think about the NOW, and cant see the big picture....
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