Active economic participants rather than tax contributors

Dear Editor,

We are not active participants in our own economy, but we remain the main contributor to the collection of taxes. The collection of taxes does not necessarily correlate with the bolstering and enhancement of a sturdy economy. In other words, tax collection is not the standard bearer of a good economy. It is the disposable income or wealth of the population which better correlates with a sound economy.

The general public benefits derived from governmental fundraising programmes are vital for the survival of those of us that are suffering during these distressing economic times. Presently, the aforementioned fundraising programmes are indispensable. However, I must admit that this is merely a plaster on a festering sore. Our goal needs to be to improve the standard of living of our citizens whereby these programmes become obsolete. This in turn will empower us to once again develop into the beacon of prosperity in the entire Caribbean.

We are very fortunate that St. Maarten houses the largest inland water pocket in the Caribbean. This phenomenon has yielded a booming yachting tourism sector for our island. It is estimated that 30% of the world's yachts make St. Maarten their home especially during the high season. We have become one of the best service and repair facilitators in the Caribbean region. We must endeavor to provide more business ownership opportunities for our citizens in the lucrative yachting sector by offering professional development and formal practical training which then would create revenue that would stimulate and foster a compounding effect of prosperity on the economy.

Increased revenue that doesn't leave St. Maarten will automatically be a strategic instrument of wealth and standard of living increase for the general population. Such an initiative would assist in decreasing the unemployment rate while adding a much needed substantive tax revenue to government coffers.

The yachting industry provides us with an opportunity for a "win/win" employment and increased turnover tax revenue framework.

Presently, we have a situation where we have a lot of mechanical technicians who operate small unregistered businesses, but who are also in possession of the essential skillsets necessary for entrepreneurship in the yachting sector. If these skilled mechanical technicians were to become officially registered, it would not only be a means to stimulate our economy, but also an opportunity to increase wealth and the standard of living for the general population. Additionally, it is imperative that collected and earned revenues remain in our country in order to attain the standard of living that our general population deserves.

It is my intention to ensure that our people become actively engaged contributors and beneficiaries to our economy rather than simply contributors to tax collection.

Melisa Molanus

The Daily Herald

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