St. Maarten Government goes after road tax defaulters

POSTED: 10/31/13 11:22 AM

Intensive controls begin November 15

St. Maarten – So far, one out of seven motorists – approximately 3,600 – have not paid their road tax for 2013, leaving the government 1.5 million guilders short of expected revenue from this source. Finance Minister Martin Hassink said yesterday that starting November 15, intensive road controls would begin to track down defaulters. The action will continue until the end of the year.

“Those who have not paid will be required to pay. They will also face a 300-guilders fine,” Hassink said. He advices motorists who did pay their road tax to keep their proof of payment with them in their car to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.

Next year motorists will get new number plates, so the government is returning to the old and rather cumbersome system. The plates have been ordered and will arrive on the island in December, Hassink said. He estimates the volume of the plates at 30,000 sets.

The finance department is still looking at possible solutions for motorists who escape the November-December drag net and show up to collect their new plates in early 2014. According to Minister Hassink, the government has limited legal maneuvering space to call these motorists on their unpaid 2013 road tax. It is not possible to charge 2013 defaulters just like that for their arrears when they come in to pay the 2014 road tax and to collect their number plates.

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