Mike

Filmmaker from America

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My name is Mike, and my wife and I moved to the Netherlands from the US in January of 2014.  When deciding whether to sell our home, leave our friends and family, and move across the country, the %30 ruling offered by the dutch government via my wife's employer, was the factor that sealed the deal for us.  It was central to the salary negotiations with my wife’s employer and was the only real way for us to be able to afford living here in the Netherlands.  

After a few years here, we felt more and more engrained in Dutch Society. Where better to have our first child?  So, in August of 2017, that’s what we did.  In order to have enough space to raise our child we decided to escape the city and we bought a house in May 2017.  

Last April, I woke up to an article from DutchNews.nl, essentially saying “Mike, you know that deal you made with the Dutch Government, that motivated you to move here? ….yeah, they’re not going to honor that anymore.”

The consequences for us are quite harsh.  In about 7 months, our income will drop 20% and we will not be able justify the cost of the home we just bought, as our loan amount was based on having the 30% ruling for 4 more years, instead of 1.  We cannot sell the home without incurring huge financial losses since we have not yet been here long enough to recoup our significant investment.  If we re-arranged our lives, and restructured our household budget, at the very least we would not be able to save anything for our child’s future. That is not what we signed up for.  

My biggest fear with all of this is not the abrupt halt to all of my financial goals.  It’s not selling the house we bought a year ago for a huge loss. It’s not packing up and going home with our tail between our legs.  My biggest fear is that for the rest of my life, I will forget all of the amazing memories we made during our 5 years here in the Netherlands. I’ll forget the two years we lived on a houseboat, the bike rides and pancakes with our child, the amazingly open and empathetic Dutch people we met. My fear is that the only memory that will remain is how we were bait & switched.  My biggest fear is that I’ll look back at this time as a nothing but a huge mistake.

I'm hopeful commons sense will prevail, that Menno Snel and the rest of the finance committee will realize that it is possible (and in the best interest of) to protect the interest of their voting constituents, while maintaining the trustworthiness of the Netherlands in the eyes of the rest of the world.  Simply make the change to the 30% ruling go forward. Honor your current commitments to those of us who made enormous sacrifices to come here to contribute to the well being and prosperity of the dutch economy.  Don't punish us for trusting your promises.  

Being an American, I know what its like for the rest of the world not to trust our leaders....the government of the Netherlands is better than that. I hope.