In advance of President George W. Bush's Tuesday night televised address, the V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue has produced its own estimates of how his tax-cut plan would affect Virgin Islanders.
A table generated from the office of IRB Director Louis Willis and acquired by the Source shows that Bush's tax cut would result in $28.6 million more in the pockets of residents rather than in V.I. government coffers. Those in the lowest tax bracket account for more than half of that figure, through sheer numbers of filers in the territory — 33,549.
"What the president has proposed is a decrease in the tax rates, a shifting downward," said Gizette Canegata-Brown, acting deputy director of IRB. She explained that current tax brackets of 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent would ratchet down to 10, 15, 25 and 33 percent.
The IRB table shows the smallest average savings under the plan, $287, would accrue to those in the new 10 percent bracket who are married and filing separately. The biggest chunk, more than $72,000 on average, would go to those in the 33 percent bracket who are single.
The average savings for a Virgin Islander, across tax brackets and filing status, would be $754, according to the IRB's figures. Broken down by tax bracket, the average savings for filers is as follows:
10 percent (33,549 filers) $405
15 percent (3,890 filers) $1,792
25 percent (300 filers) $1,388
33 percent (229 filers) $33,537
The biggest part of the total $28.6 million savings to V.I. taxpayers is in the lowest tax bracket of 10 percent; $13.6 million is expected to stay in the pockets of those filers. The group of taxpayers in the 15 percent bracket will keep just under $7 million total; those in the 25 percent bracket $416,355; and those in the highest bracket are expected to keep almost $7.7 million.
Finally, in terms of filing status, those who are married and filing jointly would realize the biggest savings: Across all tax brackets, they would on average keep $1,021 more of their income. But heads of households fare the poorest, realizing on average a little more than $471. The group of those who are married and filing separately could expect to keep $714 on average, while single filers would average $730 across tax brackets.