Citizens Movement regroups for new challenge on road tax

The Citizens Movement of St. Martin (MOCSAM) has presented arguments on the differences between how the Collectivité perceives the power of a car to be measured and the Movement’s definition, while also reiterating its dissatisfaction in general with the road tax implementation and fees.

In a release issued by the Movement, it said the only positive note to come out of the November 28, 2008 Territorial Council meeting was that amendments on the road tax were unanimously voted on. Now, only one document, the "carte grise", needs to be presented to get the sticker.

The Citizens Movement says all regular vehicles combined will pay 130 euros instead of 110, and buses, trucks, and utility vehicles under 3.5 tons will now pay 160 euros instead of 110 euros, an increase of 45.45 per cent.  

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"There is no car as such (subject to driver’s licence) developing less than 10KW," it explained." The power of a car is normally measured in horsepower (HP) rather than kilowatts (KW). Horsepower defines the amount of "muscle" of a generator or motor. Our leading decision-makers are wrong because they are mixing up tax horsepower and horsepower which in France have the same abbreviation "CV". Does one orange and two apples equal three apples, or even three oranges? No!"

It continued: "The fact is that in St. Martin the indication on the "carte grise" in position P (2) is wrong because it represents the tax horsepower that has no unit and in no case represents KW. For cars registered in Guadeloupe, for instance, this information is put in its rightful position which is P(6) on the "carte grise" as tax horsepower. Those that want you to believe 1KW=1HP are wrong."

The Movement further added the Collectivité has not provided any real assessments of the measures, how the money collected will be used, and no indication of the cost of recovery and implementation of the tax.

"We denounce the penalisation of certain businesses because of this tax. Furthermore, we inform the general public that the fuel tax has not been collected since March 2008 because of faulty drafting of the deliberation taken by the Territorial Council, but approved by the "Contrôle de Légalité." The establishment of an intelligent fiscal regulation on fuel is an indirect tax covering all users of fuel and could generate the amount searched for at no extra recovery cost. The more you consume, the more you contribute."