Tax protesters seek attorney

Some property owners on St. John are seeking to raise $20,000 to hire an attorney to fight results of the the Territory’s recent real estate revaluation. 

Real estate agents and villa management companies are among those who have been alerting property owners off island about the project organized by the St. John Unity Day Group.  "It’s very unfair and it’s going to hurt everybody," Linda Sorenson, an owner, told the St. John Source.  "Just because our properties are overvalued, we’re going to be overtaxed." The revaluations boosted assessments by as much as 500 percent or more for some properties.

"Many properties have been either over or under valued because the procedures employed for arriving at the new valuations are fundamentally and fatally flawed," the Unity Day Group said in an e-mail soliciting funds. "Implementation of these new valuations will have a disastrous and far reaching impact on our island. Many St. John residents will be forced to sell their properties if these unfair property tax values are instituted."

Many people – like the Inquiring Iguana – sent an appeal to the Tax Assessor, indicating he’d be happy to sell for the outasite estimated valuation.  After months of silence, he received a letter from the Assessor saying that his valuation was being raised $4,000. 

So much for due process.

The Unity Group is asking for contributions of $100 from property owners to build a legal fund. They may be sent to Box 371, St. John VI, 00831-0371.

3 thoughts on “Tax protesters seek attorney”

  1. I thought I might add my experience. I have a villa in Fish Bay (www.Sundancer.com). My original assessment had many errors; size, # bedrooms, baths, etc. While on Island in Sept, I went to the tax assessors office and they agreed to meet me at the house for a re do. They did and adjusted virtually all of the errors. Very polite & very professional. When the change was posted, the square footage (big item) was still several hunded feet too big. I visited the office again in January and with the head guy, found the error in their computer system. The error was fixed and the assessment was reduced by nearly $250,000. Based on projected tax rate, my taxes go from about $1,300 to $2,600. You MUST look closely at the details they used to calculate the values.

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