New Liquor, Cigarette Taxes Go Into Effect May 1

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Unpopular new taxes on tobacco, sodas and liquor aimed at helping reduce the V.I. government’s structural budget deficit go into effect May 1. Mapp called the new excise tax rates “sin taxes” when his administration proposed them in December of 2016. After some changes, the Senate approved them March 1 and Mapp signed them into law later in March.

On Friday, the V.I. Internal Revenue Bureau issued notice of the new tax schedule, which applies directly to businesses which import these products. Customers will ultimately pay the tax as distributors pass the cost to retailers who pass it on to customers.

The new excise tax rates are:

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1. Foreign Beers – $6.08 per case of 24-12 ounce containers or equivalent 2. US Beers – $5.00 per case of 24-12 ounce containers or equivalent 3. Foreign kegs – $8.25 per keg 4. US kegs – $5.70 per keg 5. Cigarettes – $11.00 per carton 6. Carbonated Drinks – $1.44 per case of 24-12 ounce containers or equivalent 7. Rums, Liquors, vodka and other alcoholic beverages – $6.00 per case

Taxpayers with questions about the excise taxes should contact Glenford Hodge at (340) 715-1040,
ext. 3201.

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