Craig Barshinger, the one-term Senator At Large form St. John, worries that the recent property revaluation process will spark a wave of real estate sales and an exodus by some of the island’s longtime residents.
He worries that people on fixed incomes will be taxed out of their homes. "How? If they had the ‘misfortune’ of having a hotel or mansion built next to them. Or if they have lived on the beach for donkey years," he said in a letter to the St. John Source. "Any of these (and other) factors will cause the assessed value to be so high, that the owner will receive a tax bill five to 10 times higher."
They may not be able to afford the taxes, "but they can sell out for millions of dollars and move to Boca Raton," Barshinger wrote. "The culture will be obliterated, but ex-pat St. Johnians will have money in their pocket. Is this the kind of Virgin Islands we want?"