Meyers requests meeting with French Side President Gumbs on new Taxi fee

POSTED: 05/24/11 1:31 PM

GREAT BAY – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Franklin Meyers has requested a meeting with President of the Collectivity of St. Martin Frantz Gumbs to discuss introduction of 150 euro fee for taxis. The measure was approved in the Territorial Council on February 19 as part of the licensing process and will take effect July 1.

Taxi drivers from Dutch St. Maarten have protested the measure, calling it added taxation. They were informed of the pending implementation in a May 5 letter from the Secretary General of the Directorate of Economic Affairs and Transport Pierre Brange. The minister has also said he disapproves and called Gumbs to query about the measure. He’s now placed his objection in a letter to Gumbs.

“In the event your government would go ahead and pursue this matter unilaterally, the Government of St. Maarten would have no other choice but to follow suit by imposing similar restrictive measures on taxi drivers licensed by the Collectivity of St. Martin,” Meyers wrote in his letter.

The minister believes that pressing forward with the measure will make the relationship between the two sides rather strained and pleaded for a solution “in the best interest of all” and in keeping with history.

“For many years St. Maarten and St. Martin have cooperated with each other in the public transportation industry, allowing each others’ licensed operators to work harmoniously on either side of the island. Taking note of the new directive…I can only foresee that our relationship will become rather strained, when such a measure is implemented,” Meyers wrote in his letter to Gumbs.

 

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