Wild Wild PoS: Coconut Settlers

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 Friday, June 15, 2012 at 4:31pm

Mayor of PoS (Sheriff) Louis Lee Sing has declared that coconut vendors will have to pay a rental fee of $700 a month to vend around the Queens Park Savannah. Pictures of an old coconut vendor working hard has been circulating the internet and most have expressed disgust in the PoS Mayor’s decision. 

Let me put the situation in perspective.
Business location:Around the Savannah. Possibly the most desirable location in the country. Rent free? If they don’t want to pay anything for the location, then they should re-locate if their product quality is so desirable. Much of the business they get is due to the high traffic nature of the Savannah itself. It’s a location that any vendor would gladly pay a low rent for to see their products. The coconut vendors were lucky enough not to be moved before, but are now in an uproar not because they cant afford the rent but are accustom to the free location and don’t see any reason to have to pay their due when they could pocket the money instead.  
Financially:Coconut vendors are selling around the Savannah, $7-$10 (up to $20 when they catch a tourist off guard) per nut. Due to the location they sell hundreds of coconuts a month (over 100 a day some days around the carnival exercise craze). Lets look at the lower end of the spectrum and assume business is really bad one month and they undersell themselves at $6 a nut and only 40 a day. That comes up to the total of $7200 a month. (Staring to re-consider my career to sell coconut at this point). 
Coconut Selling as a Business:Like every other business, they vendors operate as such, and in a much more organized way than people realize. Among the ole talk at the van drinking a coconut after a run the talk about this came up. There are climbers (to pick the coconut), delivery personnel who carry the coconuts, and then the vendors who sell. The vendors usually act solely as retailers. Unlike other businesses however they operate completely tax free. The coconuts that they get are from public locations such as Mayaro and they pay the climbers, so the product is produced for free, they don’t own their own tress and grow their own coconuts. 
Overall this move to regulate the sale of coconuts and bring some legitimacy to it. There is a cap limit on how much coconuts can be sold for and this will help to monitor that so that unsuspecting tourism or unlucky locals don’t end up being charged $20 a nut. We as Trinis have also become accustom to a freeness society. No law and order in place? No Problem! Worse yet, when regulation are put in place or laws enforce, we vex. And we wonder why we are in this state and can never advance into a truly first world country?
Taxes in some form or fashion are a part of life. Everyone has to pay their dues and the sooner we understand this and start moving towards a society based in law and order, the sooner we will develop as a nation.

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