Editorial: Clear picture (American University)

POSTED: 09/16/13 3:51 PM

Parliamentarians made a lot of noise about the deal the American University clinched with the tax inspectorate. But as stories this newspaper will publish also in the coming days will show, this news does not fall out of the sky.

The university has a long history going back to 1996 with St. Maarten and its founders made sure that local politicians were well taken care off when elections came around.

That strategy may well have paid off in spades for AUC-founder Paul Tien who, as we already reported on Saturday, paid just 2.25 percent in profit taxes on the blockbuster $235 million sale of his commercial university to Devry Inc. in 2011.

While the exact details of the fiscal deal between the AUC and the tax inspectorate will never become public due to confidentiality-legislation, enough had leaked out from various sources to build a reasonable clear picture of what happened, and how St. Maarten pulled the short straw in these deals.

The ultimate question remains of course: who benefited from it besides the Tien-family?

 

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