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Tuesday, November 28, 2023


The League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands has raised questions about sections of the Omnibus Bill put together by the 23rd Legislature. In a letter to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, who is expected to sign some of its provisions into law in the coming weeks. League President Erva Denham said the organization recommends that Turnbull veto a dozen of the bill's provisions, particularly those involving taxes.
A proposal for a six months' amnesty on property and gross receipts taxes was criticized by the league, which noted that previous amnesties have been unsuccessful. "On the contrary, such repeated amnesties encourage some taxpayers to ignore their tax oblications or to pay them at their own convenience with no interest or penalty or in fact, no regard for the law," Denham said in the letter.
Citing repeated delinquencies in tax filings and nonpayment of taxes, as reported by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the league objected to eliminating the Stop Tax Evasion Program and argued instead that such a program needs to be fully supported.
The bill's proposal to ask for a federal bailout of the territory-requesting that Turnbull seek federal approval to declare a fiscal state of emergency and request aid-was criticized as well. "What will be the reactions of the bondholders, prospective investors in the economy, federal legislators and bureaucratic officials in the U.S. Department of Interior?" the letter said.
For the complete text of the league's letter, click here to go to the Data section.

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