~ plans to implement banking transaction tax.~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of TEATT Ludmilla de Weever told parliament on Wednesday that the government is looking into abolishing profit and income tax while implementing a banking transaction tax. De Weever said abolishing profit and income tax will make St. Maarten far more attractive for investors than other islands in the region. The economic affairs minister said that the current taxing system is very burdensome to businesses that are suffering tremendously due to COVID-19.
De Weever further explained that reducing those two taxes will also lesion the administrative burden for the government of St. Maarten. She insisted that the banking transaction tax will be small but will be applied to everyone that does banking transaction, while the government will gain much more money.
The Minister explained that implementing the transaction tax will be far more manageable and it will bring much more money to the government since businesses and the tourism economy took a real hit since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another taxation within the banking industry is a tax levied towards overseas money transactions which means residents and non-residents will have to contribute to, these taxes she said will be collected by the CDC.
De Weever also intends to legalize marijuana while restructuring the fisheries and agriculture in the tourism economy.
The Minister pleaded with parliament to approve government plans since it is necessary to revamp the economy that is now suffering due to the COVID -19 pandemic.
Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper said that while the Minister made a good presentation a lot of which he agreed with, but he felt the Minister has to come with solutions that will fix the economic situation today. Buncamper said rapid testing must be introduced immediately and the government must find a way to get tourism back to St. Maarten now. The USP MP said St. Maarten will survive this crisis but people he said will starve.
The Member of Parliament cautioned the government to come with immediate solutions, he urged the government that they should get off their high horses if not they will be taken off. Buncamper said he got indication that USZV is losing NAF 5M monthly and that in itself is a problem.
Buncamper said that already the people are confused because of the suspension of the bond, he said several banks did not participate in the bond issue. He asked who exactly the CFT is working because he saw the communication between the Minister of Finance and the State Secretary Raymond Knops.