Oh my goodness folks, say it isn’t so!
We received an email from a friend yesterday morning, which included a link to the Governor’s proposed “Virgin Islands Revenue Enhancement and Economic Recovery Act of 2017.” The proposal includes a pretty hefty increase on beer, wine and other alcohol among other things.
Currently, domestic beers are taxed at $1.55 a case. They Governor wants that to jump to $11.55 a case. Foreign beers are currently taxed at $2.08 a case. The Governor wants that to jump to a whopping $14.08 a case.
Ok, so let’s use Coors Light for example. A case of Coors Light currently costs the bars and restaurants $21.95 are on island. That would jump to $33.50 a case or $1.39 per beer. So for those of you who love your dollar beers at Woody’s during their World Famous Happy Hour, they would actually start losing .39 cents per beer, and that doesn’t include labor or the barge charges that they tack onto the delivery fees. No bueno.
The Governor is also proposing an increase on spirits and liqueurs, which are currently taxed at $6 per case, to 10 percent of its value. The same goes for wines and brandis, which are currently taxed at $2.04 per case. Those too jump to 10 percent of its value.
Goodbye happy hour. It was nice knowing you.
Am I being dramatic? Yes. Can this seriously kill happy hour as we know it? Yes.
We chatted about this with a few bar managers yesterday. Here’s what they had to say:
“Sin tax. That would put us out of business. No more happy hour. We pay over a $1 for a bottle of beer now.”
“If this goes through, the cheap drinks and happy hours are gonna go away and we all will be charging resort prices for drinks.”
Another huge item in this Act pertains to timeshares, which we know many of you own here on St. John. The Governor is proposing a $30 per day tax on every timeshare unit for each day of occupancy in the Territory. That’s a pretty large number.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Please let us know in the Comments section or over on our Facebook page. Or you can vote below in our poll.