St. Maarten News – The proposal by the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) to introduce a 10 percent flat rate income tax combined with a 2.5 percent real estate tax cannot count on support from the United St. Maarten party (USp). Party leader MP Frans Richardson made that clear during a press conference at his party’s headquarters on L.B. Scott road yesterday afternoon where he introduced four candidates for the upcoming September 26 elections.
“We have to be careful trying to sell things that sound nice,” Richardson said when this newspaper asked his opinion about the issue. “You would have to do your homework first, because a flat income tax rate can have serious negative consequences. It could put St. Maarten on a black list.”
The introduction of a real estate tax, as proposed by the PPA, will drive land prices up, Richardson warned. “We want to eliminate land tax altogether. With this tax they are going after poor people whose only property is a house. We will never support any increase in taxes.”
Richardson later said that his party supports the introduction of an indirect sales tax and that it will give further consideration to the introduction of a living wage, as opposed to the current minimum wage.
The USp introduced Lyndon Lewis, Jelen Coulanges, Franklin de Windt and Delphine Agnes Brooks-Mardenborough as candidates for the elections.
Lewis is a 29-year-old detective who rose through the ranks from immigration officer to become the youngest police sergeant. From the detective department he moved on to the National Detective Agency in 2014.
Coulanges is a 30-year-old mother of two, daughter of, as she described it “a well-known fisherman who came from Haiti to seek a better living here and made St. Maarten his home.” She worked as project manager at SXM Service and Pro and at the administration of a car rental company.