Gov. John deJongh Jr. issued an executive order Friday, extending the dates for payment of 2013 real property tax bills. The order, signed Aug. 29, states the governor can "extend the time for payment, the date of delinquency and the date for the appeal, in order to afford equitable treatment for taxpayers receiving delayed assessments.”
All 2013 property tax bills are now due by Oct. 6, according to the order, and they will be considered delinquent after Dec. 6. The last day for filing an appeal for the 2013 bills will be Dec. 23, according to the order. [VI Executive Order 470-2014]
The Office of the Lieutenant Governor announced in August that it would soon issue the 2013 bills, with the 2014 bills to follow before the end of the year. This would have brought property tax collections up to date for the first time in more than a decade (See Related Links below). Instead, that milestone will be reached next year.
Property tax collections were postponed for a number of years due to a lawsuit filed in 2000 contesting the way properties were valued. That case was settled in January 2011, paving the way for multiple-year billings.
The 2009 tax bills were issued in February of 2012 and the 2010 bills in July of that year, each for roughly $50 million. The Tax Assessor’s Office issued 2011 and 2012 bills in 2013.
The 2013 bills are the responsibility of all property owners of record as of Jan. 1, 2013.
There are several factors that affect each taxpayer’s property tax bill, which are market value, the tax rate and statutory exemptions. Exemptions, or credits, are available in the following categories: General Homestead, Veterans, Seniors, Disabled, Class 1 Inheritance, Visitable Home and Tax Credit Circuit Breaker. Although taxpayers can no longer apply for credits against the 2013 or 2014 bills, they can do so in advance of the 2015 bills.
The tax rates for the 2013 property bills are:
– 0.5 percent of market value for unimproved non-commercial real property;
– 0.4 percent of market value for residential real property;
– 0.7 percent of market value for commercial real property;
– and 1.4 percent of timeshare real property.
As in the past, the 2013 bill will also include information on unpaid tax years. Property owners who owe for prior years should contact the Tax Collector’s Office to make arrangements for payment.
Payments for all past due years can be made at the Islandia Building on St. John; Builders Emporium on St. Thomas; and the following locations on St. Croix: at Government House in Christiansted, at 1131 King Street, Suite 101 in Christiansted, at the Department of Finance in Sunny Isles, and at Lagoon Street Commercial Building No. 1 in Frederiksted.
The Tax Collector’s Office accepts checks, cash, money orders, credit cards (Visa and MasterCard only), ATM and debit cards.
Questions regarding delinquencies should be addressed to the Tax Collector’s Office at 340-776-8505 on St. Thomas, 340-776-6737 on St. John, 340-773-1105 in Christiansted or 340-772-0120 at the Frederiksted Office.