PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – During Wednesday’s Parliamentary meeting with the Minister of Finance Perry Geerlings, Member of Parliament Ardwell Irion tabled a motion aimed at making it easier for citizens to purchase their own homes.
During the deliberation, Member of Parliament Irion highlighted the
high and rising cost that is associated with purchasing a home, which makes it extremely difficult or even unattainable for many. Irion also mentioned in the motion that in order to own a home, the buyer is liable for a minimum of 8% of the purchase price in order to transfer the home, this is aside from mortgage interest, life and comprehensive home insurance. This is in MP Irion’s opinion obviously too high for first-time homebuyers.
Since this is the case, MP Irion saw it fit to seek a solution through the
legislative branch, which would combat this issue.
Amongst other things, the motion urges the Minister of Finance to include in the amendment that only residents of Country St. Maarten and personal home purchases qualify for the exemption on transfer tax for first time
homeowners. Registered businesses or foundations as such as N.V’s, B.V’s or
Foundations of the sorts, are not included.
Noticeably emphasized in the motion, is the fact that Government puts
an emphasis on affordable housing in the 2018-2022 governing program and that every political party has raised this issue of rising cost for purchasing homes in their Manifestos during the last Parliamentary election. Since it was a shared interest and key area for improvement recognized by all parties and the current government, MP Irion hoped that all Members of Parliament present, would support this much needed amendment that would ultimately assist in the people of St. Maarten being able to achieve maximum growth.
However, five Members of Parliament of the coalition did not support
the motion. Nevertheless, MP Irion is grateful that the other members of the
coalition shared his vision and supported the motion which was successfully passed. Irion looks forward to the Members of Parliament’s continued support across political lines in the future, in the benefit of the people of St. Maarten.