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BIG FAT LIAR! IRB Director Tells Public Tax Refunds Are $50 Million Less Than Is Owed

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Federal court documents filed in a possible class action lawsuit against the Virgin Islands government show the government owes far more in unpaid tax returns than has been publicly stated.

The latest lawsuit, filed in late August in U.S. District Court, asks a judge to order the local government to make payment on owed tax returns. The lawsuit, brought by territorial resident Jennifer Duncan, is the second of a two-pronged legal effort coordinated by a local tax advocacy group, to obtain millions in owed tax refunds.

Documents filed in the case — including documents received in response to an open records request filed by Taxpayers for Accountability In Government — show the total amount owed by the government in unpaid tax returns is $97,849,992.74. The amount is roughly $50 million more than previous estimates put forward by government officials.

The latest amount, offered by Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue Director Marvin Pickering on September 5, was about $44 million.

Independent candidate for governor Warren Mosler is running advertisements on the radio saying that Governor Kenneth Mapp is required by law to put 10 percent of tax revenues aside to pay tax refunds.

Mosler says Mapp’s appointed Attorney General Claude Walker is not doing his job by ignoring the practice.


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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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