Road-tax dodgers must pay double next year

POSTED: 08/16/13 1:14 PM

St. Maarten – “I have news for you,” former Finance Minister Roland Tuitt said yesterday at a press conference he convened at the Turning Point rehab center to vent his opinion about the country’s financial matters. That news is for motorists who may have thought they got of cheap by not paying their road-tax this year.

“Next year you will have to pay for both years with a hefty fine,” the former minister said. “If the police catch you, you will have to pay 275 guilders for the road-tax and a fine of more than 100 guilders. Your car will be towed for 75 guilders and you will have to pay storage costs. It is always cheaper to be a law abiding citizen.”

Tuitt took the initiative last year to abolish the annual ritual of changing number plates. By the time the government fell in May it became clear that there was no legislation in place, there were no stickers for those who did pay their road-tax and therefore there was no way to make the distinction between defaulters and motorists who paid their road-tax.

Tuitt’s successor Maarten Hassink has done away with the measure and reinstated the change-of-number-plates-system for 2014. Tuitt said yesterday that the legislation to regulate the changes is ready to go to parliament. “In my strategy stickers would have been ordered to put on the number plates next year,” he said, before adding that those who did not pay for 2013 will face a double payment for 2014.

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