2012 Hurricane Season Will Be Average?
The National Meteorological Service is predicting that the 2012 hurricane season will be average to a little bit above average. It forecasts that the average number of named systems would be around nine of which six will become hurricanes and two are expected to be intense. While everyone is hoping that we will be spared this year, the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) is putting everything in place for any eventuality. Deputy Mayor Phillip Willoughby says that they have been working tirelessly and are ready for this hurricane season. Willoughby says they have also been working with NEMO in San Pedro on evacuation methods; and have invested in education on disaster preparedness along with mitigation factors in case of an emergency.
We have been lucky here in San Pedro for the last 12 years as we have not endured a major hurricane sine 2000, we ducked two category 5 hurricanes in 2010 with one heading south, grazing parts of southern Belize, the other swerving northward up into Mexico with damage as close as 50 miles north of Chetumal! This is not all “luck” as geographically, we are tucked into a pocket between Honduras on the south, the Mexican Yucatan peninsula on the north and Cuba. As hurricanes approach from the east across the Atlantic, they hear straight for Belize but generally serve northwesterly towards Cancun as they follow the warm gulf stream which feeds their energy needs. The Yucatan, Texas, gulf coast states and Florida receive far more hurricanes than San Pedro!
If you own a concrete home on Ambergris Caye, hurricane preparations include the standard supplies, flashlights, lanterns, water…but also includes party supplies as you will likely have friends over to ride out the hurricane – why not party too?
The Geminids is the final major meteor shower of the year; it’s also one of the most eye-catching! To observe in Belize the Geminids look anywhere from 30 degrees to 60 degrees above the horizon and about 20 degrees away from the constellation Gemini. Meteor shower gazing conditions will be nearly ideal as the moon is expected to set several hours before dawn.
Watch the Geminids Meteor Shower in Belize
The Geminids is the final major meteor shower of the year; it’s also one of the most eye-catching! To observe the Geminids look anywhere from 50 degrees to 60 degrees above the horizon and about 20 degrees away from the constellation Gemini.
The Geminids meteor shower can be seen all over the world, but the best viewing opportunities are for those in the Northern Hemisphere (above the equator). Those in the Southern Hemisphere will still have a worthwhile viewing experience.
For the best viewing experience, find an area unobstructed by structures and that is far away from city lights. Using binoculars or telescopes is not recommended – you’ll be more likely to miss a hooting star whizzing by. Just gaze the skies with your eyes.
Recommended Viewing Location
In the Night from the 13th to 14th December is the peak with a Shower rate: 90-120 meteors per hour. Look for a dark spot on the Beach, between 12:00am – 04:30am view direction North East at around 45° up from Horizon.
Over the past 5 years, we’ve seen Chetumal experience an explosion in commerce – and now Expats and Belizeans shop at the mall and Sam’s Club instead of ISSTE and Super San Francisco.
And now there is a new player to put even those in the back seat; that’s because Walmart has now opened in Chetumal.
Now we have the choice between, Sam’s Club, Walmart, or Plaza las Americans with Liverpool and Chedraui, Office World, Cinemas, Radio Shark , McDonalds, Domino’s pizza and much more. No its easy to get your vitamin supplements, designer clothing, fashion lenses and shades, photographic items, pet items, gifts, stuff toys and watches.
How to get there?
Just take a boat at the San Pedro Water Jet Express Terminal close Sunset Grills. Ride in 90 minutes to Chetumal in class, comfortable, affordable, save and quick.
The shops and mall are open every day, usually from 10 am until 9 pm. and Walmart opens from from 7 am until 11 pm. Now you can shop till you drop, just like home.
Persons and companies establishing themselves in Belize are finding a government committed to privacy and a no-tax system. These advantages of Belize , combined with an English-speaking population and laws similar to our own, make Belize together with the Caymans one of the world’s top tax havens.
Income Tax in Belize
As a foreigner (non-national), you will be charged income tax on income you generate in Belize. It’s taxed at a rate of 25%.
For residents, the first $10,000 in annual income is exempt, but, unfortunately, this exemption does not apply to non-residents. Since 2001, all foreign income is exempt from personal and business tax, as is all pension income. Qualified Retired Persons (QRPs) receive certain tax advantages.
Real Estate Tax in Belize
On the transfer of real estate, everyone in Belize pays a 5% transfer tax; non-citizens pay an additional 5%, for a total of 10%. This is usually paid by the buyer, but is negotiable. If you are a resident under the Qualified Retired Persons incentive program, the 5% on non-citizens is waived.
Property Taxes in Belize
Belize’s property taxes vary but are between 1% and 1.5% of the value of the undeveloped land. In Belize, property taxes outside cities are based on land value rather than the developed value of the property, to encourage development. Property taxes on homes and other developed land even in cities are lower as in the U.S.
Even if you are not in the Belize Retirement QRP programm, the laws allow you to avoid income taxes altogether by transferring income and assets (though not real estate) into a Belizean International Business Corporation (IBC). Dividends to you from the IBC are not taxable.