The heads of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Tourism and Bureau of Internal Revenue recently met to discuss the regulation of vacation room rentals in the Virgin Islands. The industry, which is quickly growing in the V.I., is estimated at nearly $25 billion in the United States, according to Government House.
In a statement from Government House, officials said, "While there is currently no legislation in the Virgin Islands Code that regulates the industry in a holistic manner, the agency heads see the need to apprise stakeholders and interested parties in the industry of their obligations under existing Virgin Islands law. "
To legally rent a vacation room, those involved must first get the proper business license, according to DLCA Commissioner Devin Carrington. Not doing so is a violation that will result in a citation, Carrington said.
And owners must pay hotel occupancy tax, income tax and gross receipts tax as required by law, added IRB Director Marvin Pickering in the statement. Hotels, villas, timeshare owners and any one else renting any lodging for a period of less than 90 days, are all reminded that the hotel room tax is 10 percent of that room rental.
Hotel occupancy taxes are used to advertise the territory, which only helps those renting vacation rooms, Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty said.
All three agency heads urged that their respective agencies be contacted regarding questions or concerns involving vacation room rentals.