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Friday, August 7, 2020

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The V.I. Budget Crisis, Part 12: What Else Can the USVI Do To Help?...

As the territory struggles with its budget crisis, Gov. Kenneth Mapp and members of the Legislature have talked about possibly consolidating some government agencies...

The V.I. Budget Crisis, Part 11: Education, Where The Big Spending Is

The largest single department in the V.I. budget is Education, which means it's also got the biggest, most complicated budget. That makes searching for budget savings a daunting task.
What the USVI Spends On, Proportionally. (Click on image for larger view.)

The V.I. Budget Crisis, Part 10: Chronic Overtime

Many government departments have been plagued with excess overtime, persisting over many years. More than one audit has found a chronic lack of documentation to prove the overtime work actually happened.
Legislature and Governor's Office Compared To Other Major 2013 V.I. Expenditures. (Click on image for larger view.)

The V.I. Budget Crisis: Part 9, Hyperactive Legislating

The V.I. Legislature is better funded and far more active than most state legislatures. It may be too active, churning out new legislation that does little, and periodically getting embroiled in the internal management of different agencies.
Legislature and Governor's Office Compared To Other Major 2013 V.I. Expenditures.

The V.I. Budget Crisis: Part 8, Gubernatorial Bloat

Most large government agencies are starved for funds, not overfunded. But if we look closer, there may be room for surgical cuts that can move the deficit in the right direction and set an example by leading from the top.
Horses race at St. Croix's Randall 'Doc' James Racetrack. (File photo)

The V.I. Budget Crisis: Part 7, What About Horse Racing and Casino Gambling?

In recent years the V.I. government has changed the laws to expand slot machine gambling, first to try to build hotels in the 1990s, then to help an existing hotel and in hopes of revitalizing horse racing.
The RT Park building on UVI's St. Croix campus. (File photo)

The V.I. Budget Crisis: Part 6, Technology Park Tax Breaks

Tax breaks granted by the RTPark have reduced corporate taxes paid to the V.I. government, but evidence that they have created significant numbers of new jobs or a thriving tech industry – the program's ostensible purpose – is in short supply.
V.I. Rum Revenues and Rum Spending 2004-2016) (2014-2016 subsidy levels are estimated, based on contracted subsidy percentages and relative rum revenue levels)

V.I. Budget Crisis Part 5: Weren’t Rum Funds Supposed To Save Us?

A big new rum distillery on St. Croix was supposed to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. What happened? Wasn't that supposed to save us?

The V.I. Budget Crisis Part 4: Debt or Spending? What To Worry About

The V.I. government is at a crossroads, facing budget deficits, growing debt and an inability to borrow. Is the problem the growing debt or is it spending that leads to deficits that expand the debt?
Figure 4: Pension Contributions, Pension Payments and Payment Deficits (Click on image for larger view)

The V.I. Budget Crisis, Part 3: The GERS Time Bomb

The V.I. Government Employee Retirement System is heading toward insolvency. There are no good options left to prevent this from happening. It will sell all its assets and be unable to make full monthly pension payments by 2025 at the latest.





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