Editorial: Tunnel-tax

POSTED: 11/8/12 1:33 PM

St. Maarten is certainly not short of plans. First there were the by now infamous cricket field and the drag racing strip. Then Justice Minister Duncan launched his plan for a Justice Park. Now we hear from infrastructure Minister William Marlin that there is going to be a tunnel from Cole Bay to St. Peters.

Technically that is probably a good idea. Like with the Justice Park there is no money for this plan. While Minister Duncan wants to hit holders of residence permits with a hefty annual fee, Minister Marlin has a different idea. He wants to finance the tunnel with a loan from the Central Bank, claiming that the tunnel will be “no burden on the people.”

Our question: what is the toll users of this tunnel will have to pay every time they wish to travel from Cole Bay to St. Peters or the other way around?

It is, in all its simplicity, a tunnel-tax that will come on top of all the fees the Justice Ministry has in mind and probably also on top of a possibly increased turnover tax.

The government is taxing people to death, MP Gracita Arrindell stated last week. The proof to support this statement just keeps rolling in, and one may well wonder where all this will end.

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