The Lt. Gov.’s office said property tax bills for 2005 will be mailed by the end of the month. A government spokesperson blamed the 7-month delay on the traditional excuse of "a computer software problem." There also were "printing issues," the government representative told the St. John Source.
Here’s why you should care about this even if you don’t own property on St. John. Villa rental rates could explode.
The bills are based on 1998 property valuations. It’s a long story
why, but there is a territory-wide real estate re-assessment going on
now. It is reasonable to estimate that property values have tripled
on St. John in the past 8 years while taxes have held steady. There are some who expect property taxes could, likewise, triple.
Ask yourself – if you owned a rental house on St. John, and your
property tax bill went from $2,000 a year to $6,000 a year do
you think you’d raise your prices?
I’m not saying villa costs are going to skyrocket; competition among the some 600-properties will still be a factor. But rental prices have been
flat for three years, while electricity (How about $600/month?), water,
and labor costs have soared. There are those in the government who understand that inflating property taxes could well kill the golden geese. We’ll have to wait and see.