DP says Commissioner Blackman is reckless & irresponsible!

DP President Mike Ferrier was on a popular talk show on Sunday last encouraging a bi-partisan approach when it comes to St. Maarten attaining Country Status.  

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This, as according to him because the DP finds itself between the proverbial rock and a hard place in that when they are critical of what the present Government is doing, according to Ferrier, the DP is told that they are whining because they are not in power and that they are not being supportive of the government’s efforts to get St. Maarten to the new status. However after reading the reported comments and proposals coming from appointed Finance Commissioner Xavier Blackman regarding plans to shift to indirect taxes by 10-10-10, the DEMOCRATIC PARTY can only shake its head in disbelief and wonder how a sitting government can with a straight face declare that ¾ into the present fiscal year and ten days into a particular month (October) they will CHANGE the tax system of St. Maarten? Does Mr. Blackman realize the chaos and the expenses that will be created for both Government as well as the Private sector? Switching systems in the middle of a year, in the middle of a month will be a nightmare! For profit tax: close off a running book year, prepare financial statements, file tax returns under the old system as per October 9th 2010 and then do it again as of December 31, 2010 for the period starting with 10-10-10. For payroll: close off old payroll system nine days into the month, start up new system effective the next day, IF new payroll soft ware is available by then. In short, chaos! It is obvious that because of the DP’s insistence that the government inform the people about the fiscal system they plan for Country St. Maarten, that the Commissioner of Finance now haphazardly threw out this not very well thought out plan.

Increasing the TOT (doubling it) will without a doubt (just as in 1997 when TOT was first introduced), cause a next wave of businesses with a relatively low gross profit margin to close or contemplate (again) moving to the French side. Car dealerships , building/construction supply wholesalers, construction companies, food wholesalers, etc., all work with relatively small gross profit margins. As a consequence, doubling the TOT will yield substantially less than double the present revenues. In addition consumers, to escape the higher TOT, will undoubtedly purchase more on-line and definitely look to get high ticket items such as vehicles, maybe even fridges, stoves and furniture through the internet and have them shipped to St. Maarten.

Low income individuals (people making less than approximately NAF. 20,000 per year) will suffer, as the prices of basic necessities will increase, while they will not benefit from cutting the wage/income tax by 50%, as right now they DO NOT PAY WAGE TAX. But they WILL pay higher prices because of the TOT increase! Commissioner Blackman and William Marlin’s NA led government, supported by Louie Laveist and Theo Heyliger, will make life on St. Maarten more difficult come 10-10-10! The DP cannot and will not support that.