Changing number plates is no longer necessary

POSTED: 07/26/12 12:50 PM

“Making paying taxes as painless as possible”

St. Maarten – The number plates motorists currently have on their cars are the last ones they will ever get. Finance Minister Roland Tuitt made the announcement many citizens have been waiting for for years yesterday.

“The current number plates will stay on the cars and they will also stay with the cars if they are sold.”

Tuitt said that his ministry wants to make paying taxes “as painless as possible.” For years motorists were obliged to buy new number plates every year and they had to pay their road tax to obtain them.

“That system is ineffective, environmentally unfriendly and time consuming. Starting in January 2013 the taxes will be levies like any other tax. Motorists will get an invoice at home and they can pay it at any bank or via the internet if they have electronic banking,” Minister Tuitt said at yesterday’s press briefing.

Until this year the government put out a bid every year for providing the new number plates. The total amount of plates hovers around the 26, 500 sets. Collecting the plates and paying road tax always resulted in long lines at the receiver’s office where motorists spend hours waiting for their turn. The old number plates burdened the environment. While some of the old plates usually ended up on the tourist market, most of them ended up on the dump.

The new system will also lighten the burden on the department that was, up to this year, tasked with issuing the new plates.

Tuitt said that the tax legislation will be updated to facilitate the new system. The minister said that road taxes would “not necessarily go up.”

“But we are looking at making a distinction in taxes between a small car and for instance an Audi or a truck. We will have different categories in the future.”


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