Ignoring the fact federal courts have not given the Virgin Islands permission to collect property taxes at the new, crushingly-high reassessment rates, the VI government said it was sending out the bills. – because it’s nearly broke.
According to a report by the Virgin Islands Daily News, attorneys for the VI told the federal court:
The government must immediately send out the 2006 property tax bills so that it can collect property taxes this fiscal year, avert a financial crisis, pay its current expenditures, allocate budgeted funds to various government agencies and departments to ensure their continued operation, meet its educational responsibilities to the children of the Virgin Islands, provide necessary social services to its residents, and pay its contractual obligations to government employees, vendors and lenders. (Full story here: http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_home?id=17627901)
Property tax values have been frozen since 2003, by federal court order. The Court has not lifted its injunction which would allow the government to collect taxes at the new rates.
It appears the VI government is trying to force the issue and get the Court to rule on the reassessments that were completed last year. Attorneys for property owners on St. John and St. Thomas have contested the new values.