Another reason villa rental rates could rise

Owners of rented villas are nervously waiting to see their new tax bills, based on a Territory-wide reappraisal project that took more than a year.  We’ve already seen properties whose assessment quintupled and, at best, face a property tax bill twice or there times what it has been.

Now comes another "gotcha".  The electric company wants to raise rates 30%. 

Remember the story about Tage having a $5,000 a month power bill?  Well, how about another $1,500?  How many more meals would the restaurant have had to serve to generate extra cash to pay that bill?

Villa owners face the same challenge.  Stories about renters who turn on the a,.c,. and then leave the windows open while they take off for the beach are all too common. At our Blue Tang, with two air conditioned bedrooms, a $500 bill for one month is not out of the ordinary.

Homeowners and businesses are angry about WAPA’s push for this rate increase, especially since the utility’s directors also just approved a plan to begin hedging their purchases of the fuel oil their generators use.  Is it conceivable they haven’t be doing this already? Airlines, manufacturers, other utility companies have hedged their needs for years, but WAPA’s just getting around to it – with oil at $92/barrel.  Great!

The Virgin Islands Daily News has a story about the rate hike increase proposal here: http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_home?id=17617256

4 thoughts on “Another reason villa rental rates could rise”

  1. Let’s see now, let me count the ways.
    1. WAPA increase
    2. New Tax Assessments
    3. New surcharge on imported items
    Mexico is sounding better everyday. But we’ll no doubt put up with it until I really have to collect my social security.

  2. Maybe more places should take a cue from Maho and go more green. Solar power anyone – a large upfront cost, but one that sounds like it could pay off in the long run (for everyone).

  3. I agree with Shannon. Go solar!!! Dont know about the Virgin Islands, but here in NJ there are rebates available to encourage people to go solar. The rebates are both local, state, and might be federal. Plus the companies building and installing solar are giving rebates.

  4. All this “panic” for nothing. I don’t think any villa owner will see a decrease in rentals due to any increase in real estate taxes or utility bills. Anyone who can afford to travel to St. John today won’t blink at another $200 or $300 added on per week. Glad I traveled to The Rock when I did – when it was affordable for middle class people who spent within their means! Ah – the good old days are over!!

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