Hotel tax hike not a done ‘ting’

At least two Virgin Islands senators are less than sure votes for the Governor's proposal to raise the hotel tax (paid by condo, villa and time share renters) from eight to 10 percent.

The Virgin Islands Daily News quotes Sen. Louis Hill saying he would prefer not to rise taxes.  He would like the Territory to attract new businesses which would pay taxes on their revenues.  "I'm not sure raising taxes … tough economic time is actually the most prudent approach."

In the same story, Sen. Alicia Hansen, who credits herself with creating the hotel occupancy tax and timeshare legislation, said she will make up her mind about the tax hike after "she gets input from the local tourism industry."

New (used) ferries on the way

New ferry boats come soon is what the VI Government wants us to believe – as soon as St. John’s ferry operators complete the paperwork.  (I believe the Virgin Islands government is still waiting for reports on how much money the ferries collected and spent last year.)

Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls told a Senate Finance Committee hearing his department has snagged $1.5 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHW) funds to allow Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services of St. John to purchase used ferry boats, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported.  Smalls said his agency will also go after any ferry money that may be available from the feds this year, too.

Read moreNew (used) ferries on the way