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Mapp Believes ‘V.I. Timeshare Act’ Will Bring Needed Revenues To The Territory

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Gov. Kenneth Mapp submitted to Senate President Myron Jackson the proposed bill known as the “Virgin Islands Timeshare Act.”  The Bill is the product of a cooperative effort between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the timeshare industry, and has been crafted to benefit the GVI, the timeshare industry, and timeshare owners in equal measure.

Timeshare units host over 100,000 guests per year in the Virgin Islands and these visitors contribute a significant amount of revenue to our economy during what is normally a weeklong stay. There is currently no comprehensive regulatory regime governing the ownership and use of timeshare units and the growth of the timeshare industry has created a significant strain on the Tax Assessor’s Office.

The Lt. Governor has acquired two additional staff members to field the hundreds of telephone calls from the timeshare owners who have many questions.  The number of tax invoices has more than doubled and is growing. The Tax Assessor’s office needs a software upgrade to modernize the management and collections process.

According to Government House, the Bill addresses each issue by enacting a modern timeshare statute and also streamlines procedures, improves tax collection, and reduces the strain on the judicial and executive branches of government.

“This measure is in line with the many states who have enacted timeshare legislation, and simply opens the door for the territory to capture monies that are currently uncollected.”  Mapp claimed. “Accordingly, I ask that you consider the Bill carefully and act upon it promptly as our territory charters towards further economic growth and financial stability and sustainability.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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