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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
HomeNewsLocal governmentLt. Gov. Roach Addresses Recent Tax-Related Inquiries

Lt. Gov. Roach Addresses Recent Tax-Related Inquiries

At Tuesday’s weekly Government House press briefing, Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach addressed recent inquiries made to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor regarding increases in tax bill amounts and other concerns.

Lt. Governor Tregenza Roach at Tuesday’s Government House Press Briefing. (Government House press briefing screenshot)

“The distribution of the 2022 property tax bill has begun, and tax bills have been generated by a new billing and collection system, which has been implemented during the month of May. The new system will result in the overall improvement of the collection system and increase revenues to our government,” said Roach, who asked taxpayers to “bear with them” as they go through the “kinks.”

Some properties have been reassessed based on improvements to the property over the period of 2018-2022, verified through the Office of the Lieutenant Governor field inspections, and on sales data reflecting the value of property sales in their area. “Any reassessment would result in an increase in the assessed value of the property. The new system is capturing this assessment data that may not have been factored into a prior year’s billing,” said Roach.

In some instances, government agencies may have never received a property tax bill before but are also seeing tax bills that show amounts owed to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. This is attributed to the fact that while these government properties do not pay property taxes, they are still responsible for sewer fees. Some entities may not have received bills for sewer fees in the past, which now results in past-due sewer fee amounts for previous years on the issued tax bills.

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“Specifically, condo owners may have been taxed at the incorrect millage rate, resulting in increases of double or more over the prior year,” said Roach. The Real Property Tax Division has made those corrections in the internal operating system, and affected property owners will be sent a supplemental tax bill that accurately reflects taxes due.

The online portal was being converted to the new billing and collection system; bills issued may not reflect payments made during that two-week period of the amnesty. The system is being updated to reflect those. Property owners who took advantage of the property tax amnesty and made payments during the property tax amnesty period will receive supplemental bills showing only amounts currently due.

Roach also said that in the case of the homestead tax credit, property owners who previously qualified for and received homestead tax credits, where the credit is not shown or applied to the bill amount, were due to an error in the system. This error has also been corrected by the property tax division and supplemental bills will be applied to indicate the applied credit amount.

“We remind you that no tax credit can reduce the tax obligation to less than $180. If you receive an exemption or tax credit and your tax is lower than $180, you will receive a new bill for $180,” said Roach.

For more information, the community is encouraged to contact the Office of the Tax Accessor by email at propertytaxreview@lgo.taxpayersvi.gov or by phone on St. Thomas at 340-774-2991, select option two or five, St. John at 340-774-2991, select option six, and on St. Croix, Christiansted at 340-773-6449, select option five or eight or in Frederiksted at 340-773-6449 by selecting option six.

Residents who have not received your 2022 tax bill are asked to contact the office of the tax accessor to verify their mailing address. It is important to note that a four-digit postal code following the zip code is needed when providing the address to the office.

On behalf of Commissioner Encarnacion, Deputy Commissioner Reuben Molloy provided the COVID-19 update. There are 308 active cases in the territory (237-STX, 70– STT, 1- STJ) the positivity rate is now 8.20 percent. There are currently nine hospitalizations in the territory. There are five at the Schneider Regional Medical Center and four at the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center. There have been 115 deaths, according to Molloy.

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