Court to VI Taxman: Drop Dead!

The Virgin Islands government has been found in contempt of court. 

The St. John Source reports that Federal District Court judge Curtis Gomez said the government acted improperly in sending out property tax bills based on the recent Territory-wide real estate revaluation. Gomez ordered the government to cancel the tax bills.  (Read the Source story here: http://www.onepaper.com/stjohnvi/?v=d&i=&s=News:Local&p=1212902139.)

This is truly unbelievable.

The government sent the bills during the summer, after realizing that not having collected taxes for more than a year was really, really, really crippling VI finances.  Since one analysis of the revaluation, by a Special Master to the Court, said the it was okey dokey, the government said, "What the heck, we’ve done our job.  Let’s roll.” However, the Court – which ordered the VI to rebuild its tax collecting system and assessment system – hadn’t signed, and so its injunction against issuing tax bills is still in place.  Gotcha!

That tax bill you property owners received, with a deadline of Nov. 22 … uh, I think you can fugetabout it right now.

6 thoughts on “Court to VI Taxman: Drop Dead!”

  1. You are going to have to pay taxes anyway, so , why not pay 80% of the bill so you can keep you property when they give you 4 months to pay later. You know Pay me now or Pay me later.

  2. To me, a non-islander, its truely unbelieveable that a government can run so very poorly. Is anyone taking any responsibility for this mess? I’ll bet not.

  3. Just wait on sending any taxes. If the rates should change, you may not be able to get the extra money back. We paid our tax bill for 1994 but then, a revised 1994 bill was sent that was lower. We have never been able to get the extra money we paid refunded. The delay in receiving property tax payments should put the heat on the government to get the taxes right and applied fairly and that is what the original court case was about. Unfortunately, I am sure we will all pay for this in the future.
    As a reminder, all property owners should save their canceled checks and tax office stamped bills for proof of payment. We just had to dig through years of records to prove we paid tax year 1992 and 1994. Finding records from 15 years ago was an exercise. The tax office did clear our status quickly once we showed proof of payment. They could surprise you at any time. Keep your records dry and safe.

  4. Sad that such purposeful incompetence and/or negligence reigns in the USVI. How can the USVI government operate like this ? I have a property (sm. peice of land on St. Croix) in the USVI and the prop.tax bill said it was due 9-22-08. Paid it 9-17-08. So I guess there’s no chance of ever getting a refund huh ? It wasn’t a lot of money, but it’s still such a shame.

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