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My thoughts about the problems at Kadaster.

Dear Editor,
I have complete confidence in the current Council of Ministers of Country Sint Maarten that they understand the seriousness of the current "problems" at the Kadaster office. I expect that they will act with a sense of urgency to ensure a solution is found immediately.

As of this week, the "problem" has escalated to a point whereby the 3 Civil Notaries on the Dutch side of the island have issued a joint statement informing the public that they must temporarily postpone the execution of all transfer deeds. This means for the moment no one can sell real estate! Not only does this spell disaster for the real estate industry and my personal livelihood, it also could mean the complete collapse of the St. Maarten economy if this "problem" is not resolved in the very near future. Right now it seems unthinkable that this "problem" will be allowed to grow to a point where it completely cripples the economy, but then again, I never thought this "problem" would reach to where we are now.

I don't want to get into the various conspiracy theories I have heard about why this "problem" exists but I do want to stress the importance of it being resolved ASAP. Our economy is in recovery mode, and not allowing real estate transactions to close is blocking significant revenue for government coffers (transfer tax). The current "problem" is also preventing large amounts of money from circulating within the local economy, essentially taking the wheels off of our economic vehicle and making it impossible to continue traveling on the road to recovery. I believe government has the obligation to ensure the wheels of economy are always able to turn.

There are countless spin off affects from every real estate transactions including transfer taxes, real estate commissions, insurance policies, contractors, housekeepers, gardeners, etc... More important to realize is how dependent some people might be on needing to sell their real estate. At any given moment there could be people within the community who desperately need to sell their property in order to meet their basic financial needs. In a few extreme cases the consequences of not selling a property can be as drastic as life or death.

This is a VERY bad look for us as a country, and you can't imagine how embarrassing it is trying to explain this current situation to international clients. This being said if resolved quickly no one will remember this in a few months. However, if left unresolved for another few months we might never recover, and our island will be remembered as the land where incompetence ruled and destroyed. I speak of doomsday scenarios just to make sure everyone understands how important it is for this matter to receive immediate attention. I honestly believe our Council of Ministers understands what is at stake here and will take action in a timely manner to remedy this situation thereby preventing any further damage to our economy.

Arun Jagtiani
Founder / Owner / Broker
ISLAND REAL ESTATE TEAM
IREteam.com
IREvacations.com

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