The deadline to get a 5 percent discount on 2009 property taxes was extended until March 20. Taxpayers initially had to pay by Thursday to get the discount, but Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis said in a Tuesday press release they now have until March 20.
“Extending the discount period will hopefully allow more property owners to receive the discounts. We are sensitive to the challenges being experienced throughout the territory and are hoping that more property owners take advantage of this additional opportunity to save on their 2009 tax bills,” Francis said.
To facilitate payment, Tax Collector offices at Government House in Christiansted, St. Croix and the Builder’s Emporium building on St. Thomas will open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The office on St. John other St. Croix locations will be closed on Saturday but those two and the other offices are open during the week.
Taxpayers who miss the deadline for the 5 percent discount aren’t totally out of luck. If they pay by March 30, they can still get a 2.5 percent discount. Bills not paid by May 30 are delinquent.
Property owners are also reminded that they do not need to have their tax bill if they plan to pay their 2009 bill in person. Cashiers at all Tax Collector Office locations can access the tax bill information at their worksite in order to facilitate payment. Tax payers making their payment by mail are encouraged to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope to have their payment receipt returned by mail. Checks, cash, money orders, ATM, debit, and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard only) are accepted. Tax payers submitting their payments by mail are advised not to send cash.
Tax payers cannot pay by phone or online, Shawna Richards, spokesman at the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, said.
If you haven’t received your bill and want to know how much you owe, Richards said the amount owned is available at the Lieutenant Governor’s office website at www.ltg.gov.vi. Click on the link for the Tax Assessor’s Office.
Tax payers are still responsible for payment even if they haven’t received a bill, Richards said.
While Richards said the Lieutenant Governor’s Office received complaints about missing bills only from time share owners, several people who own houses said Tuesday they still haven’t received their bills.
St. John resident Lorelei Monsanto is among them. However, knowing she could get a discount if she paid it without the bill in hand, she went to the St. John Tax Collector’s Office to pay up on March 9. She said she was there at 8:30 a.m., but was told to come back at 9 a.m.
“Nine is not convenient for me. I have to work for a living,” Monsanto said, adding that she still hasn’t paid the bill.
The Lieutenant Governor’s office sent out a press release March 6, announcing that hours at its offices across the territory would change to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. effective April 2, but Monsanto was there nearly a month before the change date.
Richards requested that tax payers who haven’t received bills let the Lieutenant Governor’s office know so staff can track down the problem.
“The lieutenant governor is very committed to customer service,” Richards said.
Property taxes can be paid at the Tax Collector’s Offices at Builder’s Emporium building on St. Thomas, at Government House in Christiansted, St. Croix, at the Finance Department in Sunny Isles, St. Croix, at the Lagoon Street Commercial Building Number 1 in Frederiksted, St. Croix, and the Islandia Building on St. John.
Again, payments can be made in person or by mail. Checks, cash, money orders, ATM, debit and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard only) are accepted. Persons submitting their payments by mail are advised not to send cash.
For more information about the 2009 property tax bills, contact the Tax Assessor’s Office on each island at 776-8505 on St. Thomas, on St. Croix at 773-6459 for Christiansted or 772-3115 for the Frederiksted office, and 776-6737 on St. John. Questions regarding delinquencies should be addressed to the Tax Collector’s office at 776-8505 on St. Thomas, 776-6737 on St. John, 773-1105 in Christiansted, or 772-0120 at the Frederiksted Office.