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BIR Director Marvin Pickering Says He Is ‘Pleased’ To Announce ‘Sin Tax’ Penalizing Local Businesses Will Go Into Effect In Three Weeks

ANTI-BUSINESS: BIR’s Marvin Pickering

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CHRISTIANSTED — The director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue said today that the “sin tax” will begin to take effect on May 1.

Marvin Pickering said businesses will be forced to pay more because of Act No. 7987 dealing with imports and excise taxes in the territory:

1.    Foreign Beers – $6.08 per case of  24-12 ounce containers or equivalent

2.    US Beers – $5.00 per case of 24-12 ounce containers or equivalent

3.    Foreign kegs – $8.25 per keg

4.    US kegs – $5.70 per keg

5.    Cigarettes – $11.00 per carton

6.    Carbonated Drinks – $1.44 per case of 24-12 ounce containers or equivalent

7.    Rums, Liquors, vodka and other alcoholic beverages – $6.00 per case

The new tax rates will go into effect on May 1, 2017.

“What about following up on all the businesses that don’t pay taxes–as well as the people renting homes without a license, not paying gross receipts or hotel taxes–I keep hearing you are looking into it, but that has been going on for two years with no results,” said Marti Boyd Gotts, a prominent real estate broker, who runs and owns Vacation St. Croix (340) 718-0361

Pickering, a former bookkeeper for Cruzan Rum for 30 years, said that taxpayers with questions

about the excise taxes should contact Glenford Hodge at (340) 715-1040,

ext. 3201.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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.

1 Comment

  1. afterwhilecrocodile
    April 9, 2017 at 10:02 PM — Reply

    The sin tax starts May 1, 2017 and it may just backfire as the people of the Virgin Islands boycott the ridiculous increases on certain items such as cigarettes, beer, sugary beverages, rum and liquor.

    As 30 percent of the cruise ship passengers disembark and discover the increased prices, you can kiss them profits that you are expecting goodbye.
    Then, what is your next option?
    Driving corporations away with an increase
    in excise taxes on top of the other taxes they are currently paying.

    In addition, the BIR has not collected $103 million in delinquent taxes as residents and businesses have to pay for this debacle.

    Lastly, praising the sin tax as a means to hold on to your job is both sickening
    and downright shameful!!!

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