The territory’s Tax Assessor says he’s sorry he sent erroneous notices to property owners accusing them of being delinquent in paying taxes. Assessor Roy Martin told the Virgin Islands Daily News he hopes people, like me and many others on St. John, will bear with the department as it gets its records up to date in response to taxpayers being required to provide the accurate records.
(Here’s my experience: http://barnako.typepad.com/news_of_st_john_usvi/2008/06/tax-assessor-th.html.)
This is the same Assessor’s office which requires owners to prepare detailed documentation, proving property taxes have been paid when they want to sell. Can anyone cite any other jurisdiction which relies on taxpayers to police collections? Any number of St. John property owners can tell you that sometimes the VI government has waited several months to cash property tax payment checks; that’s how lackadaisical the system has been.
And now the Assessor still clings to his estimate that as much as $50 million dollars in property taxes have gone unpaid for years. With the incidence of erroneous letters being enough to "inundate" the Assessor with phone calls, according to the Daily News, it’s clear he has NO idea how much is owed. Or, even worse, WHO, owes it.
- Read the Assessor’s apology here: http://ltg.gov.vi/press-releases/tax-assessor-tax-clearance-letters-are-one-form-of-proof-of-payment-for-delinquent-tax-le-7.html