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Friday, August 19, 2022


V.I. Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen has recommended to Gov. Charles Turnbull that any commission formed in response to the Legislature's request for a group to lobby for the return of gasoline excise taxes be expanded to include all V.I. operations that may fall under the cover-over provisions of the Organic Act.
"There are other production activities in the territory from which we may recover revenues," Christensen said Tuesday. "We should investigate and evaluate all of these."
In a letter to Turnbull, the delegate suggested that the commission be charged with providing full information about the taxes, including the annual amounts paid, the basis for the territory's claim and a strategic plan for the pursuit of these funds within a given time period.
She reiterated that working for the return of revenue is not a short-term process, nor should it be viewed as a quick remedy.
"These issues were raised along with gasoline taxes early in my tenure in Congress, and have been the subject of ongoing research and investigation," she said. "However, it has been our strategy to pursue the rum revenues, which, though difficult, have the most support in Washington."
Christensen has been critized in some political circles for failing to go after gasoline-excise taxes more aggressively.
She said a report from the commission on what it would be looking into should be finalized by the completion of the fiscal year 2001 budget "so that we could move ahead with any agreed-to action once the issue of rum is resolved."
Christensen noted that she is in the territory through Labor Day during the summer congressional recess and said she is interested in meeting with to discuss other issues affecting the islands.

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