If there is not enough money on the budget created by the road tax, most likely the roads will not be repaired adequately. And the way things look, if the right steps are not taken to collect the road tax this would not be fair to those vehicle owners who faithfully and yearly comply with the laws governing motor vehicle taxes.
To sum it up correctly let me begin by stating that I strongly believe that public transportation belongs in the hands of the public (government); government does not oblige anyone to buy a motor vehicle, even though government facilitates the use of the motor vehicle by providing roads for the owners and also lays down laws and stipulates rules and regulations for the motor vehicle owners and users.
One of those laws is the motor vehicle taxes which includes the license plates which distinguish the motor vehicles from each other.
In addition to that there is a law governing the illegal use of the number plates and conditions under which the number plates should be returned to the Receiver. The number plates belong to government.
We who complied and paid for motor vehicle taxes for the year 2019 were short-changed by government for giving in to the demands of those ignorant people who protested against putting “50 years of Carnival” on the number plates, which are not theirs. Fact is, St. Maarten did celebrate 50 years of Carnival and those same people who protested against that number plate were front and possibly center during the Carnival celebrations I know this because some of their cars were parked along the Carnival route with their number plates from 2018.
Because of the unprofessional manner in which government handled the matter by providing stickers for the protesters, millions of guilders in revenue was not collected, because of delinquency of both protesters and others. No money in the coffers, no roads maintained, the law-abiding citizens short-changed.
Thousands of numbers were not paid for, but also no reason for not returning the plates that were not paid for was given. So, by rights no payments in 2020 for 2020 if payment for 2019 was not done without a valid reason should be accepted. In other words pay for 2019 and 2020. Ignorance of the law is no excuse If one knows how to make illegal use of the flaw in the law created by that protest against the 50 years of Carnival, one should also know of the law under which circumstances one should return the plates.
If these steps are not taken by government, then government will be responsible for creating tax-evasion and tax-dodgers. We need that money to put back the signboards in the right places. I am constantly turning back tourists from going up Back Street (L’Escargot alley), driving in the wrong direction by Hong Kong restaurant, straight through again to Back Street. Maybe some of that money used to put down those bus stop huts and the bushalte signboards could be used for “One way” signs that would help guarantee road safety..
Russell A. Simmons