~ It’s past time we do this for our people ~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The United St. Maarten (US) party will seek to enact a five-year profit tax break for young local entrepreneurs who seek to invest in up and coming fields of business. Leader of the USP Frans Richardson stressed on Thursday that the world is evolving and so too should St. Maarten by giving young entrepreneurs an opportunity to succeed, not strangle and stagnate them right out of the gate. “We are very serious about this. We don’t say things just t sound nice in an election year. It’s past time to do this for our people,” he said.
He said should the USP be given a mandate to govern, the party will see to it that all required preparations are made and requirements are put in place for this form of tax reform to take place. Richardson mentioned up and coming industries such as agro-farming, e-zoning, technology and automation as examples of industries that young entrepreneurs want to invest in.
“We send our best and brightest away to attain higher education. We have to ensure that they can get a fair chance in their country. There must be tax incentives for our people not just to survive in year-one of their business, but at least to grow that business into a success story for five good years,” Richardson said.
“There are a lot of young people who want to do business, who want to be self-employed. But before they even get off the ground properly they receive a letter by the 15th of the month about taxes. If a government can give incentives to foreign investment, then giving incentives to local entrepreneurs should be second nature,” he added.
Offering a five-year profit tax break to local entrepreneurs is part of USP’s tax reform initiative as outlined in its 2016 Manifesto. Richardson said that since the USP is a party of inclusion, the following definition will be adopted to the word “local”: persons born in St. Maarten/Saint Martin of Dutch nationality, naturalized citizens, persons with permanent residency.