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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 9, 2023
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An Answer to Why Things Are the Way They Are

Dear Source;
Could the answer be taxes? St. John was resonantly populated by black people. Over the years their idle land produced no income yet the annual property tax had to be paid. To raise the Tax Dollars they would have to sell some of the land. The other black people were in the same boat, so who bought the land? White people bought the land. Finally a black person would have lost all of his land, bought by white people. Good paying jobs attract persons with a higher education. On an average the white resident of St. John has a higher education level than the local black. The white gets the job. Any person, white or black, who sees his land and good jobs going to a person of a different race will resent the other race.
What is the answer? Perhaps a change in our Tax Laws may be the answer. If the Legislature enacted a new tax Code, and it was approved by the Governor, which provided that Land Taxes only applied to property that is producing income, and exempt none producing land from Taxation might be the answer.
Lets compare this to a man with a million dollars who earns 6% interest and his tax is 20%. Each year his principal earns less than than his Tax amount so the Principal is reduced. Finally the Tax will have consumed his Principal. The black people on St John feel the same way. They see there acreage being reduced each year to raise the dollars to pay their there taxes.
The answer, enact new a New Tax Code that exempts idle land on St. John and tax the Productive Land at a rate of not more than 6%. That would then allow the Taxed Land to increase in value, like Money in the Bank.

Jack M. Monsanto
Hilton Head

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.

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