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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesKeeping a Business Afloat

Keeping a Business Afloat

Dear Source:
I read "Senate Committee Approves Gross Receipt Tax Exemption Despite Concerns" with interest as I had a restaurant on St. John for many years. It almost killed me to pay these taxes monthly!
Paying 4 % gross Tax receipts- means paying the 4 % Before any of the many operating costs and bills are paid.
– 4% of the money coming into that till must be given "right off the bat."
This is pure craziness and down right depressing esp. now given the high costs of Wapa, transportation, rents esp. on the Island of St. John which I am guessing is the highest in the territory…(and totally out of synche with the volume of business anyone can do here -resulting in high-end businesses surviving and the small with more increasing overhead costs coming at them way too fast!
Do they have any idea about how difficult that is?
I figure that if I still had Luscious Licks, I might have to charge $10.00 an ice-cream cone to survive!

This is a tax that needs to be reformed.
Most people want to be honest…yet when one scrambles to to pay their costs…and find out they need to work 10-12 hrs. a day to minimize pay roll – and simply keep their business afloat…it can get downright depressing, Mon!
It becomes easy for resentment and frustration to set in, particularly when one sees the many government waste and poor decision-making – like for example, property and procurement giving valuable spaces to jeep rental businesses for minimal monthly rates and unlicensed small businesses cropping up without question, thus adding "fuel to the fire" in people feeling like their Govt is not working with them.
Now let's add another factor into this equation of 4% tax receipt money potential from St. John.
The 10 year old no parking issue.
How can businesses make money when there are no parking spaces available to support small business?
Many of us "give up" going to Cruz Bay…between gas costs and mostly, the continual no parking woes. It is simply not worth the aggravation. Can this be good for businesses…good for our Government and the partnership we are trying to develop?
Can our Government not see how they are minimizing our coffers when they do not directly solve these problems internally as a Team that affects different areas and ultimately greatly affecting other areas of our Communities?
On a more positive note: I live near the Calabash Boom Housing project and I applaud the excellent work that I see daily by the Reliance Company. As I said to the foreman there, I would be happy writing those checks out to the workers I see every day; they are doing a great job!
I believe those homes with be wonderful-and make many people happy.
Too bad that this Company was left with the flax as a result from the many previous poorly planned projects that completely disrespected our environment on St. John.
I also applaud the planning I have observed for the Roundabout. It is more organized-than any other roadwork I have seen to date! Signs were in place…and covered up until the work began. And it didn't begin in high season!
Yes-it will be somewhat of a "slowdown" for us, but if it helps us in the long-run-it will be worth it.
I am willing to set aside the fact that it has been in planning for St. John for 10 years…and I am feeling cautiously optimistic about the results. I loved roundabouts in France during my travels. I guess my concern was in who was doing the planning and whether "the right hand of our government knew what the left hand was doing".
That might be where we are finally coming to – better planning!
Bonny Corbeil
St. John

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