On May 5th, on page eight I read in an article that about a month ago it was discovered that some 2022 motor vehicle tax (road tax) receipts had been doctored. This was disturbing to me, because this was since a month ago and I assume that the people would not have heard about this if the question was not asked during the press briefing of Wednesday, May 4th.
“Yes, there were a couple cases where a couple doctored receipts were quickly and swiftly identified and handled by the department and one person was detained,” [Minister of Finance – Ed.] Irion told reporters.
I had heard about this incident and because I had already commented on not being in favor of changing the current road tax system, I was waiting to hear when this incident would be made public. And according to the paper it was only after questioning that the reporters got the information.
The minister is using this negative incident and is trying to justify his reasoning for “going more digital”. And my response to that would be, “Should not the Minister take GEBE as an example instead of trying to drive through his will?” And my inquisitive mind is asking, “Why is he doing this?”
I really hope that he is not making use of this negative incident to try to prove that the digital system is the way to go. That would be a shame.
It is not me. By now we should know that cybercrime is not a novelty. Introducing a sticker system would be an invitation to falsify the sticker, which would make it much easier for those with false stickers to fall through the crack. This is St. Maarten and what works in other places does readily work here, We have known this for a very long time and motor vehicle tax payment has always been one of the areas where the police have had to pay extra attention for noncompliance.
I can guarantee anyone that the stickers system will cause more confusion. I hope I will not have to use those dreadful words “I told you so” when the time comes. We just had Carnival and I can still hear King Bobo singing “Who Next”.
Russell A. Simmons