MP & Faction Leader of the National Alliance George Pantophlet Says That Finally We Are Getting Some

Member of Parliament and Faction Leader of the National Alliance George Pantophlet says that finally we are getting somewhere. The Member of Parliament was referring to statements made by the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt on increasing of the casino fees. He has been addressing this issue of the casino fees as far back as 2005 when it was revealed during the then Budget debate that the casino’s had owed some 5 million guilders in fees and as recent during discussions on the 2012 Budget for country St. Maarten when the outstanding fees totaled some 25 million guilders.


He said he is very happy with the fact that the Minister does not give lip service as was done in the past but is a man of action as he (the Minister) has held and plans to hold more discussions with said organization as to the way forward. The Member of Parliament understood that the fee which was instituted years ago was a prerogative of the casinos themselves who preferred this alternative rather than to divulge how much revenues they generate. Government has no information as to what these casinos generate on a monthly or annual basis since they pay no turnover tax. It is a pity that the increase in casino fees did not take place years ago. Looking at the many services and institutions now falling under the responsibility of country St. Maarten many gaps would have been filled. It is imperative that government finds ways and means of generating revenues especially from institutions that have generated millions and millions of guilders on this island. Another issue of severe importance is the establishing of the casino gaming board a topic that has been ongoing for quite some years now. And finally I think it is time we start looking at the matter of amending the law on tax holidays to determine whether large investors will continue to be given a 10 year tax holiday and iIn addition to this give small business (income yet to be predetermined) a tax holiday as they are the true backbone of our economy. We are finally getting somewhere.