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HomeNewsLocal news$17 Million in Tax Refunds Mailed by Government

$17 Million in Tax Refunds Mailed by Government

Communications Director Richard Motta conducted a media briefing for Government House Monday. (Facebook screenshot)

Government House Communications Director Richard Motta announced at the Monday Government House briefing that the V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue sent out around $17 million to cover refunds due in 2021 and earlier and encouraged residents to express support for a land swap on St. John.

The refund payments covered tax returns, with no issues, filed between April 11, 2021, and April 11, 2022. Those under audit, with incomplete paperwork or other issues, did not receive a check. 

Director Motta asked residents to contact their senators about the upcoming legislation to approve a land swap on St. John to build a new K-12 public school. The bill comes before the Committee of the Whole for discussion on July 11 to exchange Whistling Cay, a small island off the North Side of St. John, for 12 acres of land in Estate Catherineberg just off Centerline Road, now owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The V.I. Legislature is scheduled to vote on the bill on July 20. 

“The National Park Service has finally reached an agreement with the Government of the Virgin Islands. That agreement is before the Legislature for approval and we are asking the Virgin Islands community, especially St. Johnians, to take the opportunity July 11, to make your voices heard.” Motta said. “We’re asking that you also express your support for this measure and the unencumbered and equal education for the children of St. John.”

Recent vandalism and theft at V.I. schools “critical to the success and function ability of the department” included the theft at the St. Croix Educational Complex of 100 solar panels and destruction at a St. Thomas school that will set back the opening of that school in the fall, Motta said. He did not know the name of the school or the amount of destruction on St. Thomas as yet. He asked people to call the V.I. Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8577. He also asked the perpetrators to return the stolen items.

“Every time they (Department of Education) takes one step forward, they have to take two steps backward and this time it is members of the community who force them to take two steps backward,” Motta said. 

There is security on the school campuses, the director emphasized, so they should not be blamed instead of the perpetrators. 

Motta also announced that Gov. Albert Bryan visited one of the firefighters in the hospital who was injured in a fire on St. Thomas on July 6. According to Bryan, both firefighters injured at the time are “improving.”

To end the press conference, Motta congratulated Aliyah Boston on her many accomplishments in basketball, including being named to the WMBA All-Star team and Nicholas D’Amour for winning a gold medal in archery at the Central American Caribbean Games 2023. 

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