Patricia Pantophlet: Say one, say two

Dear Editor,

In my July 11th published opinion with respect to the re-introduction of the number plates system, In which I expressed my concerns and views as a tax-payer and conscious voter (never sold my vote in all my voting years) on the decision of the Finance Minister and Government to re-introduce the number plate system.


The bid is out on the Government Page so go figure. The old folks have a saying: "say one, say two. This is my two The Minister of Finance, Mr. Hassink, in that same GIS Press Conference stated that he will maintain the Tax Compliance Policy across the board. I recommend the Minister for that especially for those violators within the business sector but also man and woman on the street. I must state that this phenomenon is not exclusive to In St. Maarten. Too many businesses have been allowed over the years to escape without any form of penalty for not paying their fair share of taxes, while those business who are fully tax compliant at times are receive unfair treatment. This is unbalanced and not conducive to a healthy business environment. It is also a known fact that many of us as citizen are deliberately not tax compliant. I do acknowledge that the reality of some business and some tax payer why they are delinquent cannot be ignored and must be taken into consideration. On the other hand though, there are many business and tax payers who are deliberate in their delinquency.

Too many business withdraw income tax and SZV premiums from their workers and don’t pass on to the relevant institutions. In my view that constitute theft., plain and simple.

On the other hand there are workers especially among non-nationals documented or not who make arrangements with their employers not to withdraw any taxes and in most of cases the employers willingly agree and comply. That again in my view is theft. So say one, say two I applaud the Minister of Finance in maintaining that approach because I believe that all legal means necessary should be used to get money in our very strapped budget (including the Fl.s 300.000,00 savings if no number plates are re-introduced)

Patricia Pantophlet