The Dutch Government is negotiating with St. Maarten for goods bought in St. Maarten and exported to Dutch Public Entities Saba
and St. Eustatius to be exempted from Turnover Tax (ToT) by year-end. Finance Minister Roland Tuitt is looking into the legislation
to make this possible and is using the request as a means of getting access to promised debt relief from the Dutch.
Tuitt said during Wednesday’s Council of Ministers Press Briefing that the removal of the ToT levy for those two islands and the
new tax structure for St. Maarten were topics he had discussed with caretaker Dutch State Secretary for Finance Frans Weekers
while on a recent working visit to The Netherlands. If approved, the exemption should apply to businesses and individuals from
the two islands as well as Bonaire, who shop in the country. If individuals are covered under the exemption, as is wanted by the
Dutch Government, Tuitt said the administration would have to be taken care of when the goods arrived on the islands. “We will have to depend on their administration to do the calculations and do the refund.” The minister noted that government would be “losing some revenues” from this exemption.
Tuitt also met with caretaker Dutch Minister for Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Liesbeth Spies. He described that meeting as “positive and constructive.” The Dutch minister indicated that she was “pleased with the approach” of government in the realm of finances and building up the country. “We also spoke about reopening the debt-relief programme. We told her we will be taking this up with the new government [which, ed. DH] we hope will be installed by next Monday in The Netherlands,” Tuitt said.
The finance minister enquired about the promised technical assistance and guidance from the Dutch Government to help to build up new departments after the attainment of country status with the Dutch Kingdom on October 10, 2010. That assistance is yet to come to the country. “That never took place. We are still claiming that assistance from Holland,” Tuitt said, adding that Spies had asked for the request to be put on paper by government and submitted to The Netherlands. Getting this assistance is also a negotiating point for Tuitt on the ToT exemption requested by the Dutch.
Source: The Daily herald, November 1, 2012