Agents of the V.I. Tax Assessor’s Office are on island, making visits to residential properties to measure their size, assess their views, and calculate their value in preparation of the next round of property taxes. It’s part of a territory-wide reconfiguration of the tax rolls.
It is possible home owners could see tax bills double, triple, or worse, when the new valuations are issued. That’s because a 1936 federal law requires the VI’s to adhere to this formula: 1.25% of 60% of the value of a property.
For instance, a house with a market value of $1.2 million, under this formula, could have its property tax rise from $1,800 to $9,000.
The VI government and Del. Donna Christensen are now urging Congress to repeal the law and allow the VI government to create its own system for calculating taxes. A committee of the U.S. Senate has voted to approve repeal of the federal tax law.
"The law has become a burden on our people, especially property owners on St. John, where property taxes have been skyrocketing," said At Large Sen. Craig Barshinger. He said the territory should be allowed to develop its own tax code.