Give the people a grace period to regulate their taxes.
PHILIPSBURG:--- Member of Parliament Christopher Emmanuel urged the Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr to stop is plan in curbing online shopping since there is not much that can be done to curb or stop residents from shopping online. Emmanuel said that St. Maarten is a Siamese twin island and if the Dutch side does something the people of St. Maarten will do their shopping online and have their items delivered on the French side in order to evade whatever sanctions the Dutch side intends to impose to curb online shopping. Emmanuel also said he also believes that something must be done with the taxes that are not being paid. He said that government should try to give the people of St. Maarten a grace period in order for them to regulate (declare) their taxes before imposing penalties. Emmanuel said that the prosecutor’s office had given people a period to turn in their illegal fire arms without questions asked therefore, he feels that government should also give residents including business owners a grace period to declare their taxes without any questions being asked.
MP Silvio Matser in his presentation asked government to find the right solutions to solve the problems the country are facing. He said right now St. Maarten is killing itself instead of boosting the country’s economy. Matser gave an example by stating that one would feed their chickens in order to gain more eggs but today the focus are being placed on killing the chickens which will ultimately result in everyone starving.
Matser also asked the Minister of Finance if he has an immediate solution to fix the budget in 2017 should there be a shortfall next year. Matser also residents of St. Maarten will be squeezed further if the expected income is not achieved. He further asked the Minister what will become of Bearing Point since the Minister intends to enhance the ICT department of government. He also asked the finance Minister to explain why the Ministry of Finance gets NAF1M extra, while the Ministry of TEATT got a decrease. He said why government is focusing on killing the chicken that brings the eggs to the country instead of feeding the chicken. He indicated last year the Minister named his budget a ‘shotgun’ budget but the 2017 budget looks like an “oozy” budget and his hope is that the Minister has immediate solutions to fill the holes for 2017 because he is sure there will be a shortfall.