Frans presents ‘pay to stay’ motion for foreign directors

PHILIPSBURG–Foreigners holding managing director’s licences will have to pay an annual fee of NAf. 9,000 should Parliament have its way.

The “pay to stay” motion instructing Government to explore the possibility of implementing such a fee was tabled in Parliament on Thursday evening in the debate on the draft 2017 budget by United St. Maarten Party (US Party) leader Member of Parliament (MP) Frans Richardson. MPs are set to vote on the motion today, Friday, but it will be up to Government to formulate the way forward and put forward a start date.

The motion that also calls for Government to implement a monthly fee for persons granted a temporary employment and residence permit in the categories of skilled workers, non-skilled workers and domestic workers. The motion did not affix a guilder amount for this monthly payment.

The motion also instructs Government to amend the budgets of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (ECYS) based on the expected additional revenue.
TEATT should then channel the money to incentivize the small business sector and stimulate economic development in general.

Funds also should go to acculturation programmes via the University of St. Martin (USM). Temporary foreign employment and residence permit holders must take this St. Maarten “acculturation-integration” course as part of the requirements in obtaining and or maintaining said permits.

TEATT in collaboration with EYCS, based on the motion, should grant special short term entrepreneurs training scholarships to recipients identified by the Small Business and Economic Development committee.

The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI will also be entitled to funding to maintain, improve and construct low-income housing.
“The motion aimed at raising needed revenue for Government stemmed from the draft 2017 budget having very little room for investing in the development of the country’s economy and due to insufficient funds allocated to promoting tourism sector,” said Richardson.

Everyone should contribute to the development of St. Maarten, the MP said.

Source: The Daily Herald


  1. So as an older guy I collect and spend my Social Security checks here in St Maaten. To have some extra cash I have a small NV . Of course I pay my TOT as well as an accountant to keep track of such things. I spend about $40,000 a year in this economy on taxes, gas for my car, plates for my car, doctor visits, grocery stores, restaurants, haircuts, newspapers, phone service, wifi service, rent, dodgy GEBE service, etc etc. my paying $9000 NAF for a directors license for my little company wouldn’t make economic sense. I think there are more ex pats like me that would probably find it economically necessary to go back home to sunny Florida. It’s been nice for 10 years but it is clear St Maarten will be a place you might want to visit on a day cruise but probably wouldn’t want to live here. It’s nice to be wanted but that is not the direction SXM is going.

  2. Nonsense! The so called friendly island shows its real colors again. Foreigners, which are responsible for a healthy amount of businesses which are creating jobs and labor are now charged to pay for their stay. How ridiculous for an economy which has only one pillar: the tourism industry.

    And local politicians are not doing anything substantial since many years to boost tourism. In fact it is the private sector trying to offer new attractions and services. In many cases the directors are originating from foreign countries.

    I have noted with great disappointment how this motion had easily passed the parliament last week with hardly any counter vote except from the DP. Great, Mr. Frans Richardson. Your are a really bright guy! Whilst many many countries are interested in attracting foreign investors starting enterprises with a minimum of bureaucracy and even tax exempts you are going to charge this group even extra. And on top of that offering little to no service with so called processing times easily exceeding half a year or even longer in many cases.

    You are a person whose political party is giving shelter to an owner of a construction company which betrayed the country St. Maarten and its people by not declaring ANG 4.5 mill in taxes. This is one of the problems in this country. It is your own people in your own party which are not law abiding and causing financial damage to the community simply because of greed. And instead of requesting the judiciary to go strictly after such people you and your other fellas are getting nationalistic and complaining why the the special unit of the prosecutor is only targeting friends of yours running brothels or security companies.

    But you know, every dog has its day. For instance when the European Union is stopping all financial subsidies for this corrupt place (for instance go and look elsewhere for funds for your septic system) and also retracting Dutch passports from you which is providing you with the privilege of hassle free visa waiver programs to access many countries in the world. Go independent, make the life for foreigners investing into your economy more miserable and I see you at one time in future at the boot of the EU or US immigration when you are trying to obtain free entry with your Mickey Mouse St. Maarten ID card. I don’t see anybody within the EU administration to advocate you on this.

    Also, as a reaction to your motion it should be discussed in the EU and in the Netherlands to start charging an education fee for students coming from St. Maarten taking advantage by visiting schools and universities there. Let them all study at the university of St. Maarten where they can look everyday over to the other side of the street to the government building. And where the young generation can observe how the great future of this country is being determined: for example by spending USD 80.000 on Christmas decoration. Whilst constant toxic fumes originating from the neighboring dump are constantly neglected and the responsibility and action postponed from one government term to the next. Crazy place!

  3. Perhaps the NAF 9000 should be for companies over a certain size and it should be a bit lower for smaller size companies. The last thing you want is for companies to stop operations and thus stop paying other btaxes such as TOT, wage taxes, social premiums etc. But I agree with that foreign directors should pay a bit more but in return they should receive a SEAMLESS and QUICK permit process. Not the current 6 months plus bureaucratic bullcrap.