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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Writer Says Senator is Wrong About Taxes

Dear Source:
Sen. Almando Liburd is wrong that it will take an act of the U.S. Congress to prevent high residential tax bills. He and his colleagues are free to adjust the current tax rate at any time, without Congressional intervention.
What the District Court has ordered is that the current system of arbitrary assessments be rationalized so that taxpayers are treated equally and fairly.
The Virgin Islands is unusual, if not unique, in never having adjusted its property tax rate. Typically, other U.S. jurisdictions determine the amount of revenue their property tax needs to raise to fund obligations, and then set the rate to raise this amount, based on the fair market value of the properties to be taxed.
If Sen. Liburd is concerned about his constituents' tax bills, he should introduce legislation to lower the current property tax rate, or, better yet, to provide a system of annual or biannual rate adjustments designed to provide a constant amount of revenue notwithstanding fluctuations in properties' fair market values. This would have the effect of both giving the government a predictable amount of revenue and giving property owners a predictable tax bill.

Sincerely,
William S. McConnell
Red Hook

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Dear Source:
Sen. Almando Liburd is wrong that it will take an act of the U.S. Congress to prevent high residential tax bills. He and his colleagues are free to adjust the current tax rate at any time, without Congressional intervention.
What the District Court has ordered is that the current system of arbitrary assessments be rationalized so that taxpayers are treated equally and fairly.
The Virgin Islands is unusual, if not unique, in never having adjusted its property tax rate. Typically, other U.S. jurisdictions determine the amount of revenue their property tax needs to raise to fund obligations, and then set the rate to raise this amount, based on the fair market value of the properties to be taxed.
If Sen. Liburd is concerned about his constituents' tax bills, he should introduce legislation to lower the current property tax rate, or, better yet, to provide a system of annual or biannual rate adjustments designed to provide a constant amount of revenue notwithstanding fluctuations in properties' fair market values. This would have the effect of both giving the government a predictable amount of revenue and giving property owners a predictable tax bill.

Sincerely,
William S. McConnell
Red Hook

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e_mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice... click here.