The Berne Property tax case is now settled with the issuance of an order by District Court Judge Curtis Gomez that lifts an injunction against the issuance of property tax bills, according to a press release from the Office of Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis
“We are pleased with Judge Gomez’ findings in this case,” said Lt. Gov. Francis. “It reflects that the government of the Virgin Islands has implemented an assessment system and procedures that not only meets industry standards, but is fair and equitable. It is a system that all Virgin Islanders can be proud of.”
Judge Gomez’ order will permit the Tax Assessor’s Office to issue the 2007, 2008 and 2009 property tax bills at the 1998 assessment values. Beginning in tax year 2010, bills may be issued at rates other than those based on the 1998 assessment values. According to Francis, this decision will enable the tax assessor to work towards the issuance of the 2010 bills at current market value. The Tax Assessor’s Office expects to begin issuance of the 2007 property tax bill in early February and issue the 2008 bills later this year. There is presently no timetable in place for the issuance of the 2009 or 2010 bills.
“Although we have spent a lot of time, money and resources towards the resolution of this case, knowing that we are able to move forward with a real system that reflects the realities of today’s market definitely makes it worthwhile,” said the lieutenant governor.