Villa renters should like property tax freeze

The horrific real estate revaluation of a few years ago is dead.  So said Bernadette Williams, the VI Tax Assessor, during a legislative hearing last week.

Credit the V.I. Unity Day Group for keeping the pressure on to push for Senate action to reduce St. John property values.  Villa renters should also be pleased since it means owners' annual expenses will not, overnight, rise thousands of dollars a year.

Locals and off-islanders alike were shocked by the revaluation done by Bearing Point, a consulting firm.

In one case cited at the hearing, a property had been valued at $40,000.  After the revaluation, it was assessed at $1.7 million.

In its report about the hearing, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported the Assessor said tax bills for for 2006 through 2009 will be issued at the 1998 property values.  The tax bill for 2008 is expected to arrive in mailboxes next month.  The 2009 bill will be issued next year. The bill for 2010 will be based on the revaluation yet to be done, according to the Daily News story. 

So, those of you who believe the VI government can act efficiently and get this job done soon, you can start saving for that tax day.

Or not.

6 thoughts on “Villa renters should like property tax freeze”

  1. I’ve been following this for years now and I still have questions. First, if someone is selling their villa for 1.7 million, they obviously should have no problem being assessed at 1.7 million. Likewise, if your villa cost you 1.7 million to build – you should be getting assessed at least 1.7 million.
    1998 rates? seriously? Can I buy a villa at 1998 prices?

  2. Mike – That 1.7 Million $ villa you are referring to is actually a dilapidated shack on some nice land that happens to be owned by a STJ native West Indian. This was an example of how flawed Bearing Points assesments were. This owner would have no choice but to sell if they were taxed at 1.7M. Just because some rich people came in during the real estate peak and bought land at exorbidant prices does not mean that all land on island should be equally taxed. It is not easy to sell on STJ and there is no guarantee you will get what a lucky few got. This does not mean that people should be forced to sell because they cannot afford bullsh@* assessment values, especially now that prices have retreated.

  3. MikeS, you may not be able to buy a villa now for quite 1998 prices, but they can now be had for 2002 prices and some maybe even 2000 prices if your lucky. Any valuation done between 2004-2009 is not valid. Those values are long gone.

  4. Pay the government nothing, I’m 4 years out now and will only pay enough to stop it from going to auction. We can’t even get a dingy dock repaired on St John. What do we get for our money?
    If VI tax money stays in the VI and doesn’t go to Washington DC then tax money should stay on the individual island that generated the revenue.

  5. Math Man – I doubt many villa homeowners on STJ pay VI Income tax – even if they wished they could – {there is a 180 day residency IRS requirement} – and the $5-20K a week rental charge goes to a stateside mortgage bank – so if STJ should be able to keep the money generated on island should they also form their own Departments of Education, Public Safety, Public Works, etc.?- should they keep the extension power cord from STT? How much should each resident and visitor pay to use the airport and roads in STT? Yet on the 150th anniversary of the War of the States maybe secession is a good plan – I am not sure that STJ taxes will go down though as an Independent Island but probably home and land values will.

  6. Mike,
    Thanks for the write up, but you do not have all your facts quite correct. The inflated assessment will STILL be used, just tweeked downward a bit. Local people will still be forced to sell, and the government will take their property. The problem is NOT over. We still need help fighting in court and in the legislature. Please contact us for more details.
    VI Unity Day Group

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