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Friday, October 7, 2022


The executive branch of government is getting a letter from a ranking member of the legislative branch touting the chief of the judicial branch for a task intended to benefit the entire Virgin Islands.
Sen. Lorraine Berry sent the letter to Gov. Charles Turnbull Friday asking him to appoint a delegation to take on the task of persuading Washington to rebate to the territory the federal excise taxes on gasoline produced in the Virgin Islands — and to name Territorial Court Presiding Judge Verne Hodge to head it.
Getting the taxes returned to the territory, Berry said, would "go a long way to assisting the fiscally hard-pressed Virgin Islands government." And, she said, the judge was just the person to make it happen.
Hodge served as attorney general in the Cyril E. King administration in the 1970s and acquired "considerable experience and intimate knowledge concerning the gasoline tax issue," a release from Berry's office noted.
The issue of the fuel excise tax and the judge's experience surfaced Friday as the Senate Finance Committee took budget testimony on the Territorial Court from Hodge.
In a subsequent discussion, the judge, who has announced his intention to retire later this year, "indicated he would not be averse to spearheading immediate action" on the fuel tax matter, the release stated.

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