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Brief: Gov. Turnbull Signs Rum Agreement Into Law

Dec. 18, 2006 — After making it through the full Senate last month, a marketing agreement between the government and V.I. Rum Industries Ltd. was signed into law by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull on Monday.
Turnbull sent a brief letter late Monday afternoon to Senate President Lorraine L. Berry acknowledging his decision. In an effort to step up Cruzan Rum promotion, Turnbull submitted the five-year agreement to the Legislature late last month, along with several other proposals.
The agreement, however, was the only bill to make it through a special Senate session held Nov. 28.
The rum bill is designed as a win-win arrangement between the government and rum makers. Under the agreement, which runs until 2011, the government will pay V.I. Rum Industries 35 percent of the extra excise tax revenues it receives as a result of increased marketing efforts. In exchange, the company will make an initial investment of $61 million to promote Cruzan and Conch Republic brand rums (See "Rum Makers Tout Government Marketing Deal.").
Members of the government's financial team have explained that the territory's rum revenues support $400 million worth of bonds issued by the government. According to Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills, rum revenues also finance "other infrastructural improvements" and help to contribute to the General Fund.
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