Opinion: Minister Hassink a stranger to powerful words and deeds

POSTED: 02/10/14 9:55 AM

Dear Editor,

It is a shame that our Minister of Finance does not command the English language. The word disgruntled means ill-humored or discontented or in simple English not happy. You only made yourself a laughing stock in asking me to apologize for a simple English word. Furthermore, it is worrisome that everything on St. Maarten has to be thrown in the political arena.

Presently, I am not on any political list, so let us keep this in the professional arena.

During the month November of last year 2013, I went to your office and we had a meeting. In that meeting I explained to you what is taking place as it relates to the collection of old taxes. You stated that you will look into the matter. To date you have not communicated any results.

On a weekly basis, citizens of country St. Maarten contact me and relay to me the injustice that is taking place. I can empathize with them because I am also a victim of the process. After serving this country as a Commissioner, Senator and Minister the only recompense that I get is a civil servant taking away NAf 60,000 and booking it off to amounts that I do not owe and are written off.

Some of my clients have shown me, that amounts owed by government to them for delivered products are unlawfully taken and applied to written off taxes that they do not owe. I have another client that does not have any employees. I wrote letters informing the tax office of that, however, the Receiver is trying to collect NAf 3,500,000. I can relay many more examples and stories.

Presently the Receiver is trying to collect those amounts and putting liens on individuals and businesses for amounts that are written off and should not be collected. As the examples above portray many of the old amounts are not correct. Thus if the Receiver is collecting amounts that are not correct and written off, they are doing that unlawfully.  I will let the Min of Fin fill in the English word for this.

Soon many businesses on the Island will not do any business with government, because the monies they suppose to collect for goods and services will be applied to old written off amounts that are for 90% incorrect.

After serving this country in various capacities, the only compensation I can get is a civil servant taking NAf 60,000 from me without any legal basis. I hope that when you the Minister of Finance leave office you are accorded the same treatment. I will be going to court in the next few weeks, however, what about all those who cannot afford to seek justice.

It is because of inaction by Ministers that civil servants build up their domain and become powerful kingdoms.  The service to the community cannot be enhanced by these actions. An institution taking away peoples hard earned money without any legal basis.

Roland Tuitt, MBA, CPA


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