PHILIPSBURG–United St. Maarten Party leader Member of Parliament Frans Richardson wants the process to modernise the country’s antiquate tax system to be sped up post-haste and to that end he has tabled a motion in Parliament to get an outline of all pending tax legislation together with a timeline for completion that does not exceed three months.
Tabling the motion in a plenary session of Parliament with Finance Minister Perry Geerlings on Monday afternoon, Richardson said it was time for less talk and more action about a changed tax structure. The motion has the support of six other MPs.
Voting on the motion has to wait until the meeting resumes later this week. The sitting was suspended in the second round of questions from MPs due to appointments of both Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams and Vice-Chair Theo Heyliger.
The motion specifically seeks to instruct Geerlings, with the support of the Council of Ministers, to approve and submit to Parliament, within 30 days of the passing of this motion, an outline of all tax legislation to be drafted relevant to the agreed tax reform and a schedule, not to exceed a period of three months, for completion and presentation of draft tax legislation and/or amendments;
The motion also calls for the convening of monthly meetings of Parliament’s Finance Committee, to which Geerlings will be invited, to get periodic updates on the completion of the draft tax legislation and the draft amendments to tax legislation.
The motion takes as its basis the lack of tax compliance, intentionally or not, that is having severe consequences on government’s ability to provide the necessary public services, and that people who excel are penalised with aggressively progressive income tax rates that reach as high as 47.5 per cent.
St. Maarten has the highest profit tax rate in the Dutch kingdom and in the region, and has one of the highest profit tax rates in the world, the motion cites. It further added that the economic disadvantage St. Maarten endures increasingly worsened after the 2017 hurricanes and continues to deteriorate.
It further cites that every political party had raised the issue of tax reform in their party manifestos presented in the 2018 parliamentary election campaign. Several governments have included this item in their governing programmes.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/82578-frans-tables-motion-aimed-at-speeding-up-tax-reform