PHILIPSBURG–Government is looking into the possibilities of making use of stickers to accommodate persons who do not want to drive around with the 2019 licence plate which reads “50 Years of Carnival.”
Finance Minister Perry Geerlings told The Daily Herald on Friday that the uproar against the plates was not something that was anticipated. Instead of playing the blame game, government is trying to come up with amicable solutions to the mater.
“What we are trying to do is to make sure that everyone feels happy about the situation. Right now, I am researching the possibility of having stickers,” Geerlings said, adding that stickers had been used many years ago to save cost instead of printing plates annually.
“So those who don’t want to make use of the plates can make use of the sticker,” he said, adding that details such as how soon this would come to fruition is not yet known. “I don’t know how soon or how fast. We are working on this solution and we are trying to find a way to find consensus so that everyone can have some peace.”
He said also, “This is something that we need to discuss with the police.”
Geerlings made clear that by law persons are still required to pay their annual motor vehicle tax and failure to do so by the deadline could result in a fine. He urged everyone to pay their 2019 motor vehicle tax. By law the deadline for motorists to pay their motor vehicle tax is February 28. Payment for the plates can be made at the Receiver’s Office cashiers at the Government Building and plates can be picked up at the old Receiver’s Office building on Pond Island, next to University of St. Martin (USM).
Minister Wycliffe Smith had said during a recent Council of Ministers press briefing that Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever is exploring possibilities within the law to accommodate persons who do not want to drive around with the 2019 licence plate which reads “50 Years of Carnival.”
Smith said at the time that the announcement of the 2019 licence plates has “caused quite a stir,” especially amongst persons who, due to their religious and personal convictions, do not promote Carnival. The decision to order and design the 2019 licence plates was taken before he became a member of government. Smith discussed the matter with Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever.
The 2019 plates, which are yellow in colour, have “50 Years of Carnival 2019” emblazoned at the top and “St. Maarten” at the bottom. A total of 33,278 sets of plates for motor vehicles and 1,000 motorbike plates have been ordered. The plates will be ready on Monday for pick-up by motorists who have paid their 2019 motor vehicle tax.
Businesses that have a fleet of vehicles can submit packages with the documents for their plates to the Receiver’s Office by February 8 for these to be processed.
The plates cost NAf. 12.50 for all types of vehicles and NAf. 7.50 for motorbikes.
Motorists with number plates M, P, SXM, MR (ministers) and PAR (parliament) will pay NAf. 275 in motor vehicle tax for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 750 for diesel-fuel-operated ones.
Motorists with R plates will pay NAf. 300 for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 750 for diesel-fuel-operated vehicles.
Taxis, BUS, G (group) and T (tour buses with 35 passengers or less) pay NAf. 275 for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 550 for diesel-fuel-operated vehicles.
Vehicles with V and Z plates that weigh more than 3,500kg will pay NAf. 1,250 for gasoline- or diesel-fuel-operated vehicles. Vehicles with V plates that weigh less than 3,500kg will pay NAf. 275 for gasoline-operated vehicles and NAf. 750 for diesel-fuel-operated vehicles.
Persons with MF (motorbike) plates will pay NAf. 200 and those with MF (mopeds) will pay NAf. 50 in motor vehicle tax.
A valid insurance document and inspection card will be needed for payment to be processed.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/84451-govt-looking-at-stickers-for-persons-against-2019-plates