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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Sint Maarten’s economy has been hit hard over the last 4 years. In 2017, two major hurricanes struck the island causing significant damage. While reconstruction was largely financed by insurance proceeds and grants from The Netherlands, economic recovery from the hurricane damage was slow and in early 2020 the coronavirus pandemic shut down most of Sint Maarten’s tourism sector. As a result, fiscal revenue declined by 15 percent since 2016; payroll tax revenue declined by only 4.5 percent, whereas the turnover tax revenue declined by 23 percent. Since April 2020, The Netherlands has provided immediate financial support to cushion the economic shock of the pandemic. In December 2020, Sint Maarten concluded an agreement with The Netherlands to receive more substantial financial support for recovery and ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability. In return, the authorities committed to make structural changes to their tax system, making it more growth-friendly and equitable, while optimizing and ensuring its revenue mobilization capacity.