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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 12, 2022
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Help Needed to Improve Property

Dear Source:

As someone who has restored an historic home in town, I can tell you that the cost is prohibitive. We did not find it too cumbersome to get through permitting. We actually anticipated more difficulty than we had (we did have to change our plans a little, but the board was quite reasonable with us). In the end, I suspect the problem is bottom line cost. WHY are there not low interest or no interest loans for property restoration?!?!?!?!? We are currently paying $3000 month on a "pay the interest only" type loan to finish our project…and in a few years it more than doubles when the principle part of the payment kicks in. Obviously we have done the project out of love for historic restoration, not as a sound financial investment…not many people are willing to make a similar choice.
The government needs to provide low interest/no interest loans and a MAJOR tax incentive. In the long run, that kind of investment from the government would be paid back 3 fold given the development it would inspire.
Also, a few cans of paint and a ladder don't cost very much, why doesn't the gov't develop a program for a tax rebate if people paint their houses? Why not a law that requires it every 10 years? Why not a program for turning in abandoned cars? Lets have one abandoned car lot on St. Croix rather than have hundreds spread out all over the place. Couldn't the gov't provide a tow truck and a space for next to nothing? It seems to me a lot could be done to improve the look of St. Croix at fairly low cost, but I digress.

Sid Binks
St. Croix

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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Dear Source:

As someone who has restored an historic home in town, I can tell you that the cost is prohibitive. We did not find it too cumbersome to get through permitting. We actually anticipated more difficulty than we had (we did have to change our plans a little, but the board was quite reasonable with us). In the end, I suspect the problem is bottom line cost. WHY are there not low interest or no interest loans for property restoration?!?!?!?!? We are currently paying $3000 month on a "pay the interest only" type loan to finish our project...and in a few years it more than doubles when the principle part of the payment kicks in. Obviously we have done the project out of love for historic restoration, not as a sound financial investment...not many people are willing to make a similar choice.
The government needs to provide low interest/no interest loans and a MAJOR tax incentive. In the long run, that kind of investment from the government would be paid back 3 fold given the development it would inspire.
Also, a few cans of paint and a ladder don't cost very much, why doesn't the gov't develop a program for a tax rebate if people paint their houses? Why not a law that requires it every 10 years? Why not a program for turning in abandoned cars? Lets have one abandoned car lot on St. Croix rather than have hundreds spread out all over the place. Couldn't the gov't provide a tow truck and a space for next to nothing? It seems to me a lot could be done to improve the look of St. Croix at fairly low cost, but I digress.

Sid Binks
St. Croix

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.