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WASHINGTON REPORT: Virgin Islands Might Need Oversight Board Just Like Puerto Rico

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WASHINGTON — Are economic conditions in the territory so bad that the Virgin Islands government needs to be overseen by a federal advisory board just like Puerto Rico?

That is one of the suggestions from Washington-based economist D. Andrew Austin who said in an 18-page report to Congress that the Virgin Islands was in bad financial shape after the HOVENSA refinery closed five years ago and then the territory got hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Damage caused by two powerful hurricanes — Irma and Maria — that hit the USVI in September 2017 created additional economic and social challenges,” wrote economic policy advisor Andrew Austin. “Public revenues, according to estimates based on USVI fiscal data, were halved after the two hurricanes.”

In his June 20 report, Austin called the territory’s economic condition “complicated” and noted that USVI government estimates were that the two hurricanes will end up costing the Virgin Islands $7.5 billion.

The report predicted that it will take longer than expected for the territory to bounce back from the two hurricanes and the economic conditions that were in place prior to the storms.

To read the whole report by D. Andrew Austin:

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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