Monday, May 23, 2022

Philipsburg – July 29th, 2021 – Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper is questioning to who the suggested property tax will apply. This quarry comes at the heels of the presentation in Parliament by CFT which stated that Property Tax should be implemented in St. Maarten. “I was somewhat surprised at the hard stances several MP’s have already taken regarding the land tax or property tax issue.

While the CFT stated clearly that the recommendation of the IMF to impose some sort of land or property tax is understandable, because of its consistency on the books, I strongly believe we need to put that in perspective and explain what is expected from such a tax”. Buncamper suggests that it is necessary to understand whether it is the intention for the proposed property tax burden to be carried by the residence of St. Maarten who are already carrying all the tax burden on St. Maarten, or whether this time around, this tax burden will indeed be spread and the property or real estate tax will be used to tax those who are not contributing to the Government’s Treasury. The current situation is such that there are no restrictions for non-residents to own or purchase property, but this group does enjoy the benefits that the Country provides. The consequences of this include the high cost of property
which disadvantages the residents or locals, but that is a discussion for another time.

Member of Parliament Buncamper would like the Government to explore the possibility of imposing a real estate tax on non-residents so that they too contribute to the treasury. While this may seem discriminatory, it is positive for the country and the residents and finally allows the country to tap into a revenue source currently not being enjoyed. Buncamper states that
such differentiation is applied in other countries, so there should be no issue.

“We don’t collect revenue from AIR BNB, and this for me is rather unclear, but we can create our own revenue source for this sector, as the properties cannot be hidden in an offshore account”. This may just be the solution says MP Buncamper, to still collect a tax from foreign-owned properties being rented and generating rental income on St. Maarten, while thus far none of that income remains on the island or at least does not reaching the governments' coffers and as such does not help to pay the bills of the country. The MP states that in other countries all timeshare owners (in the USA for sure) pay property tax, so the concept is familiar
and should not be a deterrent for wealthy foreign investors who want to own a little piece of

According to the USP Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper, he clearly stated in July 7th meeting with the CFT, that he could not support land or property tax in its present form. “We must bear in mind that having absolutely no property tax, land tax, or restrictions of any kind on foreign investors, causes the market price for the property to be driven by the buying power of the wealthy foreign investors. The result is, that locals are unable to afford land in St. Maarten; are unable able to qualify for a mortgage to buy property (yes for a car of course) and as such have a very difficult time building wealth; own an asset for which the value can actually

increase or which can be used as collateral to invest in other assets; and this is what contributes to the growing disparity in wealth, concludes Buncamper. As a landowner, this law will not personally benefit me as it can drive the land prices down.
My decision is based on the job I’m presently fulfilling; being a parliamentarian and placing the country above myself. While many of us might dislike the authors/proposers of the tax proposals please remember that the money generated is for the country and not the authors of the law. I truly hope to see a land tax proposal in the tax reform proposal the Minister of Finance is coming with to
parliament prior to the budget 2022 debate so we can ensure we are all looking and moving in the right direction.
Monies raised from such taxation can easily remove the pensioner's payment of taxes and
social premiums starting January 2022.

SXM Radio Online


September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

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September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

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