USp introduces four candidates MP Richardson: “We will never support any increase in taxes”POSTED: 07/28/16 4:20 PM
St. Maarten News – The proposal by the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) to introduce a 10 percent flat rate income tax combined with a 2.5 percent real estate tax cannot count on support from the United St. Maarten party (USp). Party leader MP Frans Richardson made that clear during a press conference at his party’s headquarters on L.B. Scott road yesterday afternoon where he introduced four candidates for the upcoming September 26 elections.
“We have to be careful trying to sell things that sound nice,” Richardson said when this newspaper asked his opinion about the issue. “You would have to do your homework first, because a flat income tax rate can have serious negative consequences. It could put St. Maarten on a black list.”
The introduction of a real estate tax, as proposed by the PPA, will drive land prices up, Richardson warned. “We want to eliminate land tax altogether. With this tax they are going after poor people whose only property is a house. We will never support any increase in taxes.”
Richardson later said that his party supports the introduction of an indirect sales tax and that it will give further consideration to the introduction of a living wage, as opposed to the current minimum wage.
The USp introduced Lyndon Lewis, Jelen Coulanges, Franklin de Windt and Delphine Agnes Brooks-Mardenborough as candidates for the elections.
Lewis is a 29-year-old detective who rose through the ranks from immigration officer to become the youngest police sergeant. From the detective department he moved on to the National Detective Agency in 2014.
Coulanges is a 30-year-old mother of two, daughter of, as she described it “a well-known fisherman who came from Haiti to seek a better living here and made St. Maarten his home.” She worked as project manager at SXM Service and Pro and at the administration of a car rental company.
Franklin de Windt, 42, was born in the Dominican Republic and has called St. Maarten his home for the past 25 years. He works at a casino and also worked as a part time bus driver and later as part time taxi driver.
Delphine Agnes Brooks-Mardenborough is an events and wedding planner with 18 years of experience in that particular business. For thirty years she has been involved in child care development; she is the President of the United Play School Foundation. She also did volunteer work in many youth organizations and church groups and helped raise funds for the construction of the Rupert Maynard Community Center. Brooks-Mardenborough also leads “an international group of 30 or more multilevel marketing entrepreneurs.”
Party leader Frans Richardson said that it is a great pleasure for him to add young professionals to his list of candidates who will become part of the change and decision making process for the country. “They have all shown a serious interest in representing our country,” he said. “Everyone can serve our country in his or her own capacity. The USp is a party of inclusion that will help this country grow. The contribution of these candidates is going to be tremendous.”
Tensions rose slightly towards the end of the oppress conference when a journalist for a Spanish newspaper asked Franklin de Windt what he will do for the Latino community. That triggered a reaction from an elderly gentleman in the audience who thought that the question was improper.
De Windt and Richardson quickly doused the little fire, saying that the USp does not stand for the interest of any particular group, but that it represents the interests of