St. John villa, land owners, read this

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In his State of the Territory address, Gov. John P. deJongh said that while mistakes may have been made in some sky-high valuations on St. John, property taxes must be paid. 

In his 25-page speech (you can download it here), he explained that the Territory's not collecting taxes for almost two years, because of a federal court-ordered revision of the system, has left finances in awful shape.

He said his government is “quite concerned’ about allegations of factual errors in those assessments on the island.  “These can and will be corrected,” he pledged, while adding, “What cannot be done is to ignore the market reality that … land on St. John is dramatically more valuable than it is on either St. Thomas or St. Croix.”

As for those uncollected, unpaid taxes, deJongh said, “We cannot forgot the $60 or $70 million or more anticipated from property taxes year after year.  We will resolve the lawsuit – the bills will become due for 2006, 2007 and 2008, and, regrettably at the worst of (economic) times, these taxes will be owed …"

4 thoughts on “St. John villa, land owners, read this”

  1. Maybe the Federal Government held up collecting 2006 & 2007, but it was because of incompetance by St. John’s government. It is rediculous to expect us to pay for 3 years all at once because of their mistakes.
    M. J. Huntley – Westin multi week owner

  2. Wonder why the St John’s government didn’t arrange to escrow taxes owed pending settlement of the lawsuit. The taxpayers had use of the tax money for 3 years and had to know the time would come to pay the piper. The home owners will receive a substantial federal tax deduction in the year they pay the taxes.

  3. Why isn’t the government collecting taxes at the old valuation until the legal issue is resolved regarding the new valuations? At least this would reduce the amount of final taxes that will be owed once the suit is settled.

  4. Actually, Gov. deJongh’s comment about “property values on St. John” made me wince. I know land values on St. Thomas and St. John intimately. In 2002, lots were selling in the Coral Bay area for $32,000.00 and up. Then they went nuts. Now, whether anyone wants to believe it or not, they’ve crashed. 20 sales last year. Ask your broker. The St. John market for land is primarily local now, with little off-island interest. They’re GONE! St. Thomas, a wholly different market, hasn’t crashed, but has slowed dramatically. The Gov. was wrong, dead wrong. I believe he sees a cash cow in bad valuations and an illegally imposed mil rate. They’re waiting for the windfall – not intentionally – just fed really bad information by the Assessor’s office.

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