The St. Croix Environmental Association does not endorse the proposed 2 cents per pound "environmental excise tax" passed by the 25th Legislature. We would also like to register our concerns about three specific issues related to the tax.
– The tax does not effectively deal with those industries that place a greater burden on the solid waste stream. Rather, it is a "one-size-fits-all" tax that ignores the realities of a need for a comprehensive approach to waste management. If the government cannot develop a tax that adequately addresses this problem, how can it develop a working plan?
– There is no enabling legislation accompanying the tax measure to create a special environmental fund. The money collected will be placed in the General Fund. This is hardly a targeted measure to deal with environmental problems.
– The tax does not address the core threat to infrastructure in the Virgin Islands — namely, inept and potentially corrupt procurement of goods and services to repair or replace infrastructure.
Neither the St. Croix Environmental Association nor anyone else was allowed to comment on the tax before its ratification by the Senate. Until the Senate ceases its closed-door negotiation strategies, we believe these problems will persist.
For further information, call SEA at 773-1989.
Bill Turner, executive director
St. Croix Environmental Association
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