Marlin wants to get a grip on Cadastre fees

POSTED: 04/11/13 3:06 PM

MarlinSt. Maarten – Minister of VROMI William Marlin wants to enact legislation to control the independence of the Cadastre office in adjusting fees on immovable property. In responding to concerns raised by the Democratic Party Parliamentarian Roy Marlin that Cadastre fees were too high; Minister Marlin said that he recently met with the supervisory and management board of the Cadastre and the agency is well aware of his plan to adopt legislation to make it mandatory that fees cannot be established without his prior approval. Marlin said that his proposal is to safeguard citizens against unilateral fee increases.

“Based on the law governing the Cadastre, they can in consultation with the board adjust their fees or establish new fees. What is lacking is a protection for citizens.”

Marlin added that he is also concerned about the way the process for the splitting of apartment rights is handled.

He explained that people often acquire long lease land from government, build condos on the beach, divide them into apartments and then sell them individually. The Cadastre then charges each apartment from 1to 10, a 3500 guilders fee for the splitting procedure and another 175 guilders for every apartment.

Marlin said that this may be affordable for condo owners but not for the average man. People have run out of long lease land and are now building additional structures on existing locations such as the top floor of their parents’ home, he added.

The same costs of 3500 guilders for procedure and 175 for apartment splitting are required by these individuals. This is a burden for many people that are involved in succession land ownership, Marlin said.

“A total revision of the existing procedure is needed,” he told Parliament yesterday, adding that the Cadastre has also agreed to review the procedure.

The Minister has suggested that if the Cadastre wants to continue earning income, it can perhaps increase the cost for the commercial division of condos, making a distinction between commercial and non-commercial transfers that are taking place.

“We are saying to Cadastre no, what you need to look at is if a transfer is from one family member  to another then certain fees should not apply or should be minimal. Selling property is different from transferring from one family member to another,” Marlin said.


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