Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2019

Collection long lease fees seems problematic

Philipsburg - Capital of Dutch St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG — The government has issued 2,955 long lease contracts for land that covers 4.87 square kilometers of land; this is 14.3 percent of St. Maarten’s total area of 34 square kilometers. The annual lease fee for all these contracts combined is 5.8 million guilders (around $3.2 million). However, there is a problem…

Apparently collecting these fees is problematic. The VROMI-ministry highlights in its chapter about performance improvements the collection of lease fees (in cooperation with the receiver) as one of its priorities.

The cash value of the land given out in long lease is 69.9 million guilders (at 5 percent) or 52.9 million (at 7.44 percent). The largest long lease contract covers 533,344 square meters. The average lease fee is

The draft budget furthermore shows that the government has not budgeted a concession fee for the airport in 2019, but the fees for the harbor (5.2 million guilders), Gebe (5 million) and the Bureau Telecommunication and Post (1.8 million) are part of the budget.

Financial supervisor Cft questioned whether the government would be able to collect the concession fee from Gebe, given a report by the IMF that the utilities company is in such a bad financial shape that it could have run out of money by the end of January.

The government however intends to tick off the concession fee against its outstanding debt to Gebe.

The draft budget furthermore shows that hiring security companies lacks a coordinated approach. The Justice Ministry and the parliament have contacts with Checkmate Security, the Education Ministry hires Sheriff Security and the General Audit Chamber works with First Response.

From an overview of service level agreements it appears that the Office of the Ombudsman has contracts with the Daily Herald and with the Today Newspaper; that’s an oddity because Today closed down after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

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Related articles:
Draft 2019 budget closes with 67.2 million deficit
Civil service operates at 70 percent
Government wants to establish a bodyguard unit
Collection long lease fees seems problematic
Pension reform possibly into effect per May 1
Government cuts electricity budget for schools
Geerlings offers payment plan on unpaid taxes to ease the pressure on businesses
St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry waives fees up to 2014
Download the complete DRAFT 2019 BUDGET here