The State Secretary of Finance, Mr. Frans Weekers, during his visit to Bonaire on July 23, 2011 promised to take measures to relieve the burden for the inhabitants of the Dutch Caribbean.
The State Secretary understands that there is unrest and dissatisfaction regarding the manner in which the new tax system working out for the population. He shares these concerns and will therefore address some concrete matters in the area of taxes and levies for the short as well as the long term.
Increase the tax free threshold
The State Secretary has promised to increase the tax free threshold with the inflation correction and possibility per July 1st. The tax free threshold is currently at $9750,- Furthermore it will be examined how to lower the increased burden for pensioners. In the coming weeks the State Secretary will include the bottlenecks brought to his attention by the administrators of the islands in the 2012 tax plan. This forms part of the budget which is presented annually on Prinsjesdag.
In the week of June 27th the State Secretary will start discussions with representatives of the Curacao and St. Maarten civil service regarding the double taxation which is now levied for the transit of goods. It will also be examined if the ABB on the costs of freight can be abolished. The accumulation of the ABB, which now exists in among others the horeca (hotel and restaurant) and construction sectors, will be looked at. Otherwise, USONA projects which were approved before January 2011, will not have to pay ABB.
Short and long term
In the coming weeks the State Secretary will examine which concrete problems can be quickly resolved. Furthermore he will have a research executed into the bottlenecks which must be addressed, however this will require more time. It regards changes in the law, which require more time due to parliamentary procedure.
(Extra from Statianews)
Statianews asked Koos Sneek what measures have to go through Second Chamber. He wrote: "Indien er structurele wijzigingen in de wet moeten worden gemaakt moet dit worden goedgekeurd door de kamer. De voorstellen die wij hebben gedaan kunnen voor een groot gedeelte worden besloten door de staatssecretaris zelf." which means that if structural changes in the law have to be made, then you need the approval of the Second Chamber. The proposals they (meaning I think the representatives of Statia) suggested can be changed by the State Secretary himself.