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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesREALTORS OPPOSE PROSSER BILL

REALTORS OPPOSE PROSSER BILL

The St. Croix Board of Realtors wants Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to veto the so-called "Prosser bill." And the Virgin Islands Territorial Association of Realtors supports its position. .
Greg Hamilton, president of the St. Croix board, said, "We have grave concerns about the tax consequences to the Virgin Islands and the potentially devastating effect to current and future property values on St. Croix based on the agreement in the bill."
Hamilton added, "The possible erosion of the tax base seems to be working in the opposite direction set forth in the recent economic summit and in view of the current fiscal crisis facing the government."
The bill calls for businessman Jeffrey Prosser to give 1,000 acres of land, $4.5 million to develop the land and $9.95 million to build several public projects on government land throughout the territory, in exchange for 30 years worth of total tax breaks for all the companies under his Innovative Communications Corp.'s umbrella. ICC's shareholders would receive tax breaks, too.
Estimates of the value of the tax breaks range from $180 million, which is Prosser's calculation, to as much as $3 billion.
Robert Bidelspacher, chairman of VITAR's Government Relations Committee, said, "The shear magnitude and far-reaching ramifications of the Prosser legislative plan, both positive and negative, have not been sufficiently thought through, let alone independently economically analyzed, to truly benefit the public understanding to adequately address the issues in a more balanced and enlightened way than in the political atmosphere to date."
The bill was forced through the Legislature by eight senators early Saturday morning, May 22, after 14 hours of debate. Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus introduced a motion shortly before the bill was passed asking for an independent financial analysis of the bill before a vote, but could not raise the votes to have the motion adopted.
The Realtors are requesting that Turnbull veto the bill and try to negotiate a new agreement that "would benefit all concerned and bring the proposed 300-room hotel to the island of St. Croix."
In a prepared statement, the Realtors said, "We must create an environment that is conducive to business, both large and small. With the option to purchase the Carombola property having been renewed, there is now a window of opportunity."

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The St. Croix Board of Realtors wants Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to veto the so-called "Prosser bill." And the Virgin Islands Territorial Association of Realtors supports its position. .
Greg Hamilton, president of the St. Croix board, said, "We have grave concerns about the tax consequences to the Virgin Islands and the potentially devastating effect to current and future property values on St. Croix based on the agreement in the bill."
Hamilton added, "The possible erosion of the tax base seems to be working in the opposite direction set forth in the recent economic summit and in view of the current fiscal crisis facing the government."
The bill calls for businessman Jeffrey Prosser to give 1,000 acres of land, $4.5 million to develop the land and $9.95 million to build several public projects on government land throughout the territory, in exchange for 30 years worth of total tax breaks for all the companies under his Innovative Communications Corp.'s umbrella. ICC's shareholders would receive tax breaks, too.
Estimates of the value of the tax breaks range from $180 million, which is Prosser's calculation, to as much as $3 billion.
Robert Bidelspacher, chairman of VITAR's Government Relations Committee, said, "The shear magnitude and far-reaching ramifications of the Prosser legislative plan, both positive and negative, have not been sufficiently thought through, let alone independently economically analyzed, to truly benefit the public understanding to adequately address the issues in a more balanced and enlightened way than in the political atmosphere to date."
The bill was forced through the Legislature by eight senators early Saturday morning, May 22, after 14 hours of debate. Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus introduced a motion shortly before the bill was passed asking for an independent financial analysis of the bill before a vote, but could not raise the votes to have the motion adopted.
The Realtors are requesting that Turnbull veto the bill and try to negotiate a new agreement that "would benefit all concerned and bring the proposed 300-room hotel to the island of St. Croix."
In a prepared statement, the Realtors said, "We must create an environment that is conducive to business, both large and small. With the option to purchase the Carombola property having been renewed, there is now a window of opportunity."