Vi,-n Is/nndr oSf ~Ae U.,S Offi.e of +Ae
( oven cnt~ Secre
% ~ANNUAL REPORT%
% OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SECRETARY
% Fisc~l Year 1962 %
% s %
% -3S--x-s %C
% Cyril E. King %
% Government Secretary %
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SECRETARY
FISCAL YEAR 1962
During the fiscal year 1961-62, the responsibilities with which the Office of
the Government Secretary is charged by the revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands
and the Virgin Islands Code remained basically unchanged, except in one instance.
Act No. 819 of the Fourth Legislature of the Virgin Islands, Regular Session, and
approved February 27, 1962, provided for the transfer of the Division of Personnel
S from the jurisdiction of the Office of the Government Secretary to that of the Office
S of the Governor, effective March 1, 1962.
'The Office of the Government Secretary continued to meet its responsibility
of supplying the Equity Publishing Corporation with the necessary documents to
maintain compilation and publication of all legal documentation for the Government
of the Virgin Islands including Rules and Regulations, the Register, Supplements
0 to the Code, Session Laws, Slip Laws and Reports of the Virgin Islands.
During the fiscal year 1962, 140 Acts and 14 Resolutions of the Virgin
Islands Legislature were filed with the Government Secretary pursuant to law
and were ordered printed in the slip law form. This compared with a total of
144 Acts and 25 Resolutions in fiscal year 1961; and 140 acts and 31 Resolutions
in fiscal year 1960.
LICENSING OF BUSINESSES AND OCCUPATIONS
*The continuing growth of the economy of the Virgin Islands is reflected in
S the ever increasing number of businesses and of people engaged in various oc-
cupations within our community. The Office of the Government Secretary, which
is charged with the responsibility for licensing all businesses as well as the
practice of certain occupations within the Virgin Islands, continued its surveys,
on the spot inspections, and other activities in cooperation with the Department of
Public Safety to ensure coverage of all businesses by appropriate licenses.
Passage of Acts No. 710 and 720 by the Fourth Legislature Regular Session,
and both of which were approved June 9, 1961, To Amend and Revise . the
Virgin Islands Code Relating to Civil Rights, and To Require . Licensees .. to
State That Their Businesses Are Operated in Compliance with the Civil Rights Act,
respectively, added to the responsibilities of the Office of the Government Secre-
tary in the area of licensing. These Acts provide, among other things that:
1. Certain information concerning the operation
of any club facility shall be filed with the Office
of the Government Secretary.
2. Licensees shall evidence by displayed sign or
monogram that their businesses comply with
the Civil Rights Act.
3. Compliance with said Act is a condition inci-
dent to engaging or continuing in said business.
In carrying out its responsibilities under these Acts, the Office of the Govern-
ment Secretary prepared an affidavit which each licensee is now required to sign
certifying that in the conduct of his buisness "all the applicable provisions of the
"Civil Rights Act of the Virgin Islands are complied with ." This affidavit is
filed together with application for license.
The license itself was also modified in keeping with the provisions of the,
legislation referred to above.
Thus far there has been only one instance in which objection was raised to
the signing of such an affidavit. In this case, the Office of the Government Secre-
tary had no choice but to deny a license to the applicant, after which it became the
responsibility of the Department of Public Safety to see to it that the business
activities in question were discontinued.
The following chart shows a comparison of licenses issued and fees col*
elected over the past three fiscal years:
LICENSES ISSUED AND FEES COLLECTED
1960 1961 12
District Licenses Fees Licenses Fees Licenses Fees
& St. John 1,227 $46,238.50 1,393 $51,689.00 1,514 $117,839.
St. Croix 886 $30, 549.00 974 $34, 659.00 922 38, 474.
Total 2.113 $76. 787.50 2,367 $86,348.00 2,436 $156,313.
During the fiscal year 1962, corporate activity continued to show a steady in-
crease in the number of new corporations registered. This is evident from the com-
parative table shown below wherein there were 183 new registrations in fiscal year
1962, as compared with 129 in fiscal year 1961 and 119 in fiscal year 1960.
As a result of a concentrated drive launched in January 1962 on delinquent
corporations the number of corporations dissolved or withdrawn also has increased
substantially. This increased effort is also believed to have contributed toward the
increase in this year's total corporate franchise taxes collected over last year's.
At the end of fiscal year 1962, there were 587 Domestic Corporations
appearing on our active list of registered corporations, 62 Foreign, and 42 non-
profit -- a total of 691.
Fiscal Year 1960 Fiscal Year 1961 Fiscal Year 1962
Foreign Domestic Foreign Domestic Foreign Domestic
Certificates of Incor-
poration Issued 8 111 14 115 17 166
Certificates of Amend-
mends Issued 1 30 1 24 2 30
Dissolutions 4 3 12
Withdrawals 2 2 -
Mergers -2 3
Surrender of Cor-
porate Rights 3
The method now being used of filing annual reports and of assessing and collect-
ing franchise taxes continues to prove their value.
Based upon reports received by June 30, 1962, total corporate franchise
taxes collected amounted to $20, 127.56 as compared with $16,463.50 collected by
June 30, 1961, and $16, 657.56 by June 30, 1960.
1, See Appendix A
Other corporation fees (filing fees, copying fees, etc.) collected during the
fiscal year 1962 totaled $12, 458.34 as compared with $11, 874.49 in 1961 and
$12, 306.09 in 1960.
Contrary to last year's trend, trademark and patent activity during the fiscal
year 1962 showed a considerable increase in registration.
The following is a comparative table for fiscal years 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962:
1959 1960 1961 1962
Original Registrations 16 18 12 24
Renewals 5 19 15 7
Assignments 2 6 8
Changes of Name 8 2 6
Mergers 4 4 20
Patents 4 1
Fees collected for this activity totaled $1, 302.50, as compared with $810.00
The Office of the Government Secretary continues to prepare and issue all
passports in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the United States
Department of State. The following chart shows a comparison in the amount of
passports issued, extended, amended and renewed during the last four years:
1959 1960 1961 1962
Issued 133 169 191 199
Renewed 38 41 55 28
Amended 5 3 5 9
Extended 1 1 1 1
Total 177 214 252 237
Passport fees collected during the fiscal year totaled $1, 931.00, as com-
pared with $1, 994.00 last year.
In the field of insurance, the Virgin Islands continue to attract a rapidly in-
creasing number of insurance companies dealing in all lines of insurance.
During the fiscal year 1961-62, there were 14 new registrations, as com-
pared with 7 last year. This brought to 61 the number of insurance companies
authorized to conduct business in the Virgin Islands on June 30, 1962, as compared
with 47 companies last fiscal year and 43 the year before. The 61 companies
referred to above include one domestic company and 60 foreign companies (including
one non-profit organization).
Insurance Agent's Licenses issued during the year amounted to 68, as com-
pared with 47 last fiscal year, and 33 the year before. Included in the total of 68
licenses are 27 newly issued licenses, 17 of which were Apprentice Agent's Licenses.
Six Agent's Licenses were not renewed.
During the fiscal year, three Insurance Solicitor's Licenses were also
The following is a comparative table of taxes and fees collected for the fiscal
years 1960, 1961 and 1962:
1960 1961 1962
Renewal of Certificates of Authority
and Original Registrations $1; 651.00 $1; 951.00 $3; 076.00
Agent's Licenses 1,521.00 2,111.00 2,821.86
Broker's Licenses -- 100.00
Solicitor's Licenses 200.00
1960 1961 1962
Gross Premium Taxes $6, 602.95 $12, 316.87 $12, 784.86
Filing Annual Statements 98.50 126.00 151.00
PilingPower of Attorney 15.00 45.00 145.00
Booklet of Insurftce Laws *- 51.00 61.00
$9, 888.45 $16,700.87 $19,239.72
There is every indication that the insurance business in the Virgin Islands
will continue to expand. Consequently, serious consideration should be given to
1. An examination of existing insurance laws with
a view toward determining their adequacy in meet-
ing present needs.
24 Establishment of some type of examination for
insurance agents and brokers.
3. Providing opportunity for staff to take advantage
6f courses of training in the field of insurance.
Notaries Public: During the fiscal year 1962 the Office of the Government
Secretary issued six Government and 5 Public Notary Commissions. During the
same period one Public Notary Commission was renewed.
The following table shows the activity in this field during the fiscal
In Effect Total
June 30, Issued June 30,
1961 1962 Cancelled 1962
Public Notaries (St. Croix) 5 1 6
Public Notaries (St. Thomas) 10 4 1 13
Government Notaries (St, Croix) 5 3 1 7
Government Notarke (t Th bmas) 11 3 1 13
A tA&i of $100 it fees for Notary Public Commissions was collected during
fiscal .ear 1962, as abhpared with $135.00 in the previous year.
Ministerial Mcenses: The Office of the Government Secretary issued
authorization to S0 ministers to perform civil-religious ceremonies in the Virgin
Islands dring the fiscal year 1962, as compared with 11 for the fiscal year 1961, 10
for the fiscal year 1960, and 12 for the previous year.
Banking Board of the Virgi Islands: During the fiscal year 1961-62 the
Banking Board has had several meetings. The consensus among its members is
that the'banking laws of the Virgin Islands are in need of major revision.
Many situations have emerged from time to time which existing laws do not
coAer. This inadequacy is further emphasized by the more recently increased interest
which has been developing on the part of Savings and Loan Associations which are'
desirous of locating in the Virgin Islands.
The New St. Croix Savings Bank: The Banking Board continued to
exercise its supervision of the New St. Croix Savings Bank through an examination
conducted by Pol, Toro & Company, a firm of certified public accountants of San
Juaq, Puerto Rico. Following up upon certain inadequacies revealed by this examination,
the Banking Board invited the Officers of the New St. Croix Savings Bank to a meeting
at which the findings in this and previous reports of examinations of the bank were
The Chase Manhattan Bank: Pursuant to the authority granted by
Section 32(h), Title 9 of the Virgin Islands Code, the Banking Board continues to
accept the examination report of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System, with respect to the required examination of the branches of the Chase Man-
hattan Bank located in the Virgin Islands.
The Virgin Islands National Bank: No review or supervision is
extended to the Virgin Islands National Bank which is incorporated and organized
under the National Bank Act (U. S. C. Sec. 21ct. seq.) and is excluded by Section 1,
Title 9, Virgin Islands Code.
Virgin Islands Board of Control of Alcoholic Beverages: During the past fis-
cal year the Board prescribed and through two chemical analysts administered and
enforced regulations pertaining to alcoholic beverages, denatured spirits and articles
containing denatured spirits.
Alcoholic beverages exported to the United States during the calendar year
1961 amounted to 821, 633 proof gallons as follows:
Rum 693, 119
Whiskey 123; 434
Cordials, Liquors, etc. 5, 080
Total 821, 633
Presently the administrative work is being performed by two employees, a
Supervising Chemical Anialyst in St. Thomas and a Chemical Analyst in St. Croix.
In order to improve the effectiveness of this staff the budget as presented to the
Legislature for the next fiscal year included provisions for its expansion by adding
two inspectors, one each in St. Thomas and St. Croix, and clerical help.
With this addfonaL personnel, enforcement of regulations will be greatly
enhanced. It is hoped that it will also help to bring about the possible development
of an experimental laboratory the primary purpose of which would be to maintain
as well as explore the possibilities of improving the high quality of rum produced
in the Virgin Islands.
This being an off year, there were no elections. However, the question of
a possible extensive revision of existing election laws was the subject of considerable
study and subsequent conferences in which the Office of the Government Secretary
participated. The legislative proposal which resulted and which was later formally
introduced in the Legislature provided among other things for the recognition of
political parties and selection of candidates through party conventions. The
Legislature adjourned without completing action on this proposal.
As Chairman of the Sanitary Facilities Committee, the Government Secretary
continued the concentrated efforts to eliminate the nightsoil removal service.2
Especially in the town of Frederiksted. St. Croix, these efforts yielded a
great measure of success. Except for the designated urban renewal area, practically
all cans have been eliminated.
See Appendix B
In the temw of Christiansted, although the measure of success has been more
modest -- progress has been made.
The Island of St. Thomas presents the greatest challenge in this drive to
eliminate the nightsoil removal service. Progress on this Island has been negligible.
To help push this program a staff member of the Office of the Government
Secretary was assigned to do a house-to-house survey in St. Croix with a view
1. How much more is left to be done before the
nightsoil removal system can be eliminated
2. What special problems, if any, are property
owners experiencing in their efforts to com-
ply with the Governor's Proclamation of
June 13, 1961.
3. How can the Government help to relieve
these problems and thus assist in speeding
up the complete elimination of this potential
health hazard from our community.
The survey revealed that the problems bieng encountered included:
1. General lack of knowledge about the availa-
bility of government loans.
2. Inaccessibility of sewer and water lines.
3. Scarcity of plumbers.
4. Economic feasibility of installing proper sanitary
facilities without at the same time making exten-
sive repairs and generally improving entire
The latter problem is further aggravated by the acute housing shortage
which makes virtually impossible the necessary relocation of tenants now living
in the properties in question. Added to this is the equally irritating problem in
St. Thomas of the superficiary houses.
During the fiscal year 1962, a total of 41 of the 55 loan applications filed
were processed. By the end of the fiscal year 40 of the applicants involved were
actually granted loans for the construction of proper sanitary facilities, as com-
pared with 11 from the time of the original Proclamation of the Governor in 1959
up to and including fiscal year 1961. The total amount of money involved in the
40 loans referred to is $48, 516.12 of which $4, 171.58 has been repaid already.
Insofar as their other equally pressing responsibilities permit the Depart-
ment of Public Works and the Bureau of Environmental Sanitation have been giving
this program full cooperation. The hope has been expressed by the Sanitary Facili-
ties Committee that it might be possible to arrange for the Department of Public
Works to supply at cost plumbers to help those property owners who are handi-
capped due to the fact that they may not otherwise be readily available.
Early in fiscal year 1962 the Governor directed that all files concerning
housing be turned over to be consolidated into one office, namely, that of his
Special Assistant in charge of Housing.
Prior to this directive the Office of the Government Secretary had initiated
a crash program designed to relieve the acute housing shortage.
Under this program the construction of emergency housing units had been
started at Staabiland, and the clearing and surveying of Nadir Estate preparatory
for construction of 40 units had begun. In addition, two more units were completed
early in fiscal year 1962 in the area of the Queen Louise Home area.
The Bordeaux Community Development Commission ceased to exist when
the Legislature adjourned without adopting legislation to provide for its continued
OFFICES OF RECORDER OF DEEDS (St. Thomas and St. Croix)
During the fiscal year 1962 both offices of Recorder of Deeds for the
Judicial Districts of St. Thomas and St. Croix, under the Office of the Government
Secretary continued to exercise their respective responsibilities for the filing
and/or recording of deeds and other legal instruments relating to the transfer of
title of real property, and all other legal instruments required or authorized by
law to be filed and/or recorded.
The number of such documents presented for recording during the fiscal
year 1962 continued to show considerable increase. The Office in St. Thomas
recorded a total of 2, 730 documents as compared with 2, 221 last year, and
2,062 the year before.
In the case of the Office in St. Croix recordings for the fiscal year 1962
amounted to 2, 325 as compared with 1, 737 last year, and 1, 360 the year before.
Bills totalling $20,966.43 and $14, 412.10 were submitted to the Depart-
ment of Finance for collection by the St. Thomas and St. Croix Offices of Re-
corder of Deeds, respectively.
Comparative tables of documents received during the last 3 years are shown
Chattel Mortgages 70
Cancellation & Release 220
Cond. Sale Contracts and In-
stallment Sale Contracts 863
Bill of Sale
Contract of Sale
Certificate of Death
1960 1961 1962
Deeds 480 441 676
Mortgages 325 383 403
Chattel Mortgages 113 144 166
Conditional Sales Contracts 59 106 161
Cancellations 240 401 352
Adjudications 8 15 30
Certificates of Attachment -- 107 113
Certificates of Death 16 8 10
Miscellaneous 119 132 297
Total 1, 360 1,737 2,325
Microfilm: Efforts are still being made to microfilm all documents. During
the year, with the cooperation of the personnel of the Bureau of Museums and Libra-
ries, Department of Education, some progress has been made in this respect. The
present arrangement, however, leaves much to be desired if we are to maintain our
microfilm system on a current basis.
Translation : The translation of documents from Danish to 'Engi8 bhr'.
been progressing commendably. All records pertaining to King's Quarter and dating
from the 1800's to the present have been translated. Transcripts are made in
duplicate, the originals of which are filed in the permanent file and copies are
placed in the ready reference cabinet for use by lawyers and other interested persons.
General: During the fiscal year 1962, this office was also called upon for
what is believed to have been the first time to file certain lease agreements covering
the use of equipment. In the absence of statutory or executive rule regarding the
handling of such documents, this matter was referred to the Attorney General for
Recommendations: 1. Compilation in pamphlet form of all laws pertaining
to the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. The present system of thumbing through
the Virgin Islands Code is time consuming. A single compilation would be a great
convenience to the staff as well as those other persons having use for same.
2, A review of the adequacy of existing legislation pertaining to recordation
of documents as well as with regard to fees currently being charged for said service.
OFFICE OF THE TAX ASSESSOR
With the aid of a gubernatorially appointed ten-man Citizen's Tax Advisory
Committee3 and the Consultant Firm of Collett and Clapp of Puerto Rico, the Office
of the Tax Assessor continued to review the operation of its program.
Simultaneously, attention was being given to explaining the program to
the public through personal discussions with taxpayers who called at the Office of
the Government Secretary or at either of the Offices of the Tax Assessor in
St. Thomas or St, Croix. In the case of taxpayers on the Island of St. John staff
members made periodic visits to consult with those who felt they had problems
In addition, the Government Secretary as well as the Tax Assessor and
Deputy Tax Assessor made public appearances in the interest of getting across
to the public the need for, the basic soundness of, and equity in the improved
3. See Appendix C
4. See Appendix D
The Office of the Tax Assessor was further affected by the following pieces
1. Act No. 834, approved March 15, 1962, to provide
for homestead exemption from payment of real pro-
2. Act No. 909, approved June 18, 1962, to spread over
a period of four years any increase in real property
taxes due for the calendar year 1961 over those paid
for 1960; and
3. To establish November 30, 1962, as the date on which
real property taxes payable in the calendar year 1962
shall become delinquent as provided also by Act No. 909,
approved June 18, 1962.
It is estimated that, as a result of Act No. 834, about $60, 000.00 in exemp-
tions will granted to approximately 1, 600 taxpayers. In addition, Act No. 909
is expected to further reduce the amount of possible real property taxes for the
calendar year 1961 by an estimated $100, 000.00.
The following is a detailed table of exemption and taxes granted by Island:
Island Taxpayers Assessment Taxes
St. Thomas 800 $240 000.00 $30 000.00
St. Croix 666 200; 000.00 25; 000.00
St. John 150 45,000.00 5,625.00
1,516 $485,000.00 $60, 625.00
The following is a detailed table of assessment and taxes by Island:
$28; 432; 438.00
28, 939, 384.00
$29; 135; 558.00
$ 2 016; 358.00
1, 890, 260.00
1961 $20; 204.47 $6,091.51
Total taxes expected to be collected is estimated at $629, 854.95 -- an
increase of appr6xfmately $87, 605.76 over last year.
INDUSTRIAL INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The Industrial Incentive Program which, under Act No.224 was scheduled
to expire of December 31, 1961, was extended by passage of Act No. 798, approved
November 3, 1962, and which became effective January 1, 1962.
Under this new law the Virgin Islands Industrial Incentive Board created
within the Office of the Government Secretary continues to be charged with the
administration of the Industrial Incentive Program. However, the responsibility for
promoting the program rests with the Department of Commerce.
Membership on the Board consists of the Government Secretary and the
Director of the Budget, Ex Officio, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, and 5
members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature.
In extending the Industrial Incentive Program, Act No. 798 took into account
certain improvements which experience with the previous law suggested to have
been necessary and desirable. Under the provisions of this law "A person, firm,
or corporation engaged in or about to engage in an industrial or business activity
in the Virgin Islands, which .. in the judgment of the Governor of the Virgin
Islands will promote the public interest by economic development of the Virgin
Islands, and which required for its establishment or expansion the granting of the
tax exemption and subsidy benefits provided for in this subtitle, may apply for the
same, if such person, firm, or corporation meets the following requirements:
"(1) in the case of an individual or a partner in a firm, is a resident
of the Virgin Islands, and in the case of a corporation, is created under the laws
of the Virgin Islands;
"(2) meets the requirements of subsection (b) or (c) of section 934 of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended (Public Law 86.779, 86th Cong ...#ppi
September 14, 1960), and the provisions of this subtitle, or any regulations issued
under such laws; and
"(3) undertakes to invest in an industry or business in the Virgin Islands.
"(A) at least $15, 000 in an industry or business for the processing, manu-
facturing, creation or production of any articles, goods or commodities....
Any .. industry or business under this subparagraph shall maintain at all times
a minimum investment of at least $15, 000; or
"(B) at least $100, 000 in the establishment of a business engaged in the
ownership of housing projects (the same being defined .., as a number of in-
dependent housekeeping units, constructed .., for individual home ownership .
by sale to residents of the Virgin Islands), factories or industrial plants, for the
occupancy of others ... ; or
"(c) at least $100, 000 in the establishment of a business engaged in the
ownership or operation of a hotel or guest house ....
"(D) at least $50, 000 in the establishment of a business engaged in the
ownership of a television broadcasting station ...
"(E) at least $100, 000 in a business providing regularly scheduled trans-
portation services between St. John and other areas in the Virgin Islands of the
Act No. 798 provides further that "Each person, firm or corporation
granted a certificate of tax exemption and subsidy benefits ... shall be exempt
for a period of 10 years from the payment of the following taxes and fees:
"(1) All taxes on real property to the extent that the same is utilized in the
industrial or business activity with respect to which a tax exemption certificate has
5. Act No. 874, approved March 30, 1962
"(2) All excise taxes on building materials, tools, pipes, pumps. conveyor
belts or other appliances and materials necessary for use in the construction, altera-
tion, reconstruction or extension of the physical plant, or any extension thereof.
"(3) All annual or specific license fees, except liquor license fees and auto-
mobile license fees . .."
The subsidies referred to include refund of:
1. 90% of import duties and other taxes paid into the
Treasury of the Virgin Islands on raw materials
brought into the Virgin Islands;
2. 75% of income tax liability paid to the Government
of the Virgin Islands during the taxable year; and
3. 75% of the income tax paid tothe Government of the
Virgin Islands on income derived as dividends by
stockholders who are residents.
During the fiscal year 1962, the Industrial Incentive Board approved claims
for refunds in the following amounts:
Customs Duties $287, 272.90
Income Tax 566, 139.91
Dividends & Securi- 74,272.12
Total $927, 684.93
As of the end of the fiscal year, there were 76 tax exempt businesses with
approximately 1, 763 employees and payrolls of approximately $2, 500,000.00.
The growth and expansion of the Industrial Incentive Program continued to
be limited and handicapped during the year as was the case last year by:
1. Scarcity of water
2. Shortage of electric power
3. Inadequate local supply of trained help in all fields
4. Failure of the United States Treasury Department
to provide regulations as required by Public Law 779,
86th Congress, to aid in interpretation and application
of the provisions of said law as it affects the Industrial
From the Office of the Government Secretary FOR RELEASE:
Administration Building Thursday, A.M.
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands Jan. 18, 1962
Government Secretary Cyril E. King, before leaving for Washington today, dis-
closed plans for a crackdown on corporations delinquent in payment of franchise taxes.
Mr. King disclosed that a check of the corporations' records reveals that over
$10, 000 is owed to the Government of the Virgin Islands by corporations for franchise
taxes, some accounts dating back as far as 1956.
The Government Secretary stated that letters are now being sent requesting
these corporations to forward checks covering their indebtedness to the Government
within two weeks after receipt of said letters.
At present there are over 500 corporations registered to do business in the
Virgin Islands. Over three hundred of these are delinquent in payment of their 1961
franchise taxes which were due on June 30, 1961. Another two hundred are delinquent
in payment of taxes due as of June 30, 1960.
These corporations, Mr. King pointed out, are formed primarily for the pur-
pose of enjoying certain tax benefits. It is only proper, he continued, that, having
reaped the benefits of such special tax considerations as accrue to corporations, they
meet their financial obligations to the Government of the Virgin Islands.
According to the Virgin Islands Code, if a corporation is delinquent for a
period of two years, the Government Secretary has the power to revoke the authority
of such corporation to do business in the Virgin Islands.
From the Office of the Government Secretary FOR IMIVMDIATE RELEASE
Administration Building Monday
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands July 31, 1961
KING CONTINUES EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE NIGHT
SOIL REMOVAL SERVICE
Government Secretary Cyril E. King in a letter addressed to all property
owners in St. Croix re-emphasized the determination of this Administration to
eliminate the night soil removal service by June 30, 1962. In so doing he called
attention to the Governor's Proclamation of June 13, 1961 and urgently requested
their active cooperation in removing this potentially serious health hazard from
With each letter is enclosed a copy of the Press Release of June 13, 1961,
launching the drive to eliminate the nightsoil removal service together with a copy
of the Governor's Proclamation of June 13, 1961.
A similar mailing will be going out to property owners in St. Thomas during
the current week.
The full text of Government Secretary King's letter follows:
"For much too long the Virgin Islands have had a night
soil removal system which is not only a blemish on the
beauty of these Islands, but even more important -- a
potentially serious menace to the health of their inhabitants.
"The present Administration is determined to eliminate
this health hazard. Its success in achieving this goal will
depend to a very large extent upon the complete and whole
hearted cooperation of all property owners concerned.
"The Governor's Proclamation of June 13, 1961
declared that all buildings occupied for habitation,
commercial purposes, or as places of private or
public assembly situated in the towns of Christian-
sted and Frederiksted, St. Croix shall be connected
to the public sewer by June 30, 1962.
"Act No. 470, amending Title 19 of the Virgin Islands
Code, passed by the 1959 Third Regular Session of the
Virg n Islands Legislature, provided the necessary pro-
cedures, mandates, and public funds to assist in the
orderly and speedy elimination of nightsoil cans and the
night soil removal system.
"It has been brought to my attention that your property
is presently lacking the required sanitary facilities. In
accordance with the abovementioned proclamation, I am
urgently requesting your active cooperation in having the
required facilities installed at your property not later than
June 30, 1962, at whicich time the Government anticipates
discontinuing the nightsoil removal system throughout the
Island of St. Croix.
Report to the
The Citizens Tax Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee on the Tax Assessment Program met on Tuesday,
February 27, in the Office of the Tax Assessor. Messrs. Clapp and Callwood sat
with the ten members of the Committee who were present.
Prior to the meeting the Committee had been given copies of Bill No. 1559
"To provide an Exemption for Homestead Protection" etc. The Committee was
also given a copy of the Memorandum prepared by Mr. Clapp on Bill No. 1559.
We also had before us for study and discussion charts prepared by Mr. Clapp to
show the estimated impact of Homestead Exemptions at alternate exemption
amounts and 50% ratio between assessment and market value, and also estimates
of property taxes accruing for 1961 at varying ratios of assessed to market valued
The Committee discussed the material and went over section by section the pro-
visions of Bill No. 1559.
On behalf of the Committee I should like to report the following recom-
1, Acceptance of the revisions of Bill No. 1559 proposed
by Mr. Clapp, with the additional recommendation that
Section 4 be amended to require the affidavit mentioned
therein each fiscal year. In light of this amendment it
is also recommended that Section 7 and the first pro-
vision in Section 8 ending with the word "and" be deleted
from Section 8.
2. That a policy of Homestead Exemption be adopted by the
Government of the Virgin Islands beginning with "real"
estate taxes imposed for calendar year 1961 and payable
Appendix C Page 2
3. That the amount of Homestead Exemption be set at Three
Thousand Dollars ($3, 000.00) with the understanding that
as the economy of the Islands improves it may become
necessary to revise this amount.
4. That in the application of the tax rate to assessments
we use for this year the same ratio .for land and buildings.
5. That for the taxable year of 1961 the ratio to be used will
be 60% of assessed values.
The Committee agreed that the appropriate language to clarify the terms
"Assessment Year", "Calendar Year" and "Fiscal Year" in the Act should be left
to the Attorney General in order that the language in this Act be in agreement with
language in the other Tax Statutes.
Alonzo G. Moron, Chairman
Ronald A. Morrisette, Secretary
Excerpts From Speech Delivered by Government
Secretary Before the St. Croix Chamber of Com-
merce, June 26, 1962.
. for the first time in the history of the Virgin Islands, we are well on
the way toward realizing a workable and equitable system of real property taxation --
a system wherein all properties are treated uniformly.
As would be expected, the tax bills which went out in 1961 for the 1960 tax
year, the first resulting from the new real property assessment program, generated
considerable excitement. And why shouldn't they when, for example, in the case of
West End Quarter -- Whim Estates -- a person owning one acre of land was assessed in
1959 at $400 and paid a tax of $5; while the person owning the adjoining plot, the size
of which was six acres -- the assessed value was also $400 and he, too, paid a tax
of $5 although his total acreage was six times that of the owner of the adjacent plot.
It is such discrepancies that caused Messrs, Valdemar Hill and Alonzo Moron
to observe in thier joint memorandum of May 31, 1961, on the Reassessment Pro-
gram and 1960 Tax Bills, addressed to me as Acting Governor, that "... the
recent economic history of the Islands may be interpreted as making extremely
ridiculous the spread between even the recorded sales prices and the values set
on real property for tax purposes. It is difficult to defendthe failure to reflect
in our revenue resources the changes that have occurred in real property values
and in rental incomes in the market place when so much more needs to be done
for our schools and our health and welfare services."
Another striking example of the urgent need which existed for an improved
Appendix D Page 2
and up-to-date system was reflected by the thousands of dollars of taxable real
property which was picked up for the first time as a result of the reassessment
survey. Note was taken of this fact by the Comptroller for the Virgin Islands in
his audit report of the Tax Assessor's Office for the period ended June 30, 1960,
when he said: "One of the significant achievements of the new real property assess-
ment program is the discovery of properties not previously assessed in the Virgin
Translated into dollars and cents, the newly discovered properties referred
to in the foregoing means:
Properties Not Previously Assessed
No. No. of
of Amount Improve- Amount Total Total
Location Plots Valued ments Valued No. Value
St. Thomas 35 $169,081.00 616 $3,517,460.00 651 $3,686,541.00
St. Croix 6 40,061.00 141 1,616 703.00 147 1,656,764.00
St. John 40 156,793.00 40 156,793.00
41 $209,142.00 797 $5,290,956.00 838 $5,500,098.00
As many of you no doubt know, in communities throughout the United States
real property taxes traditionally constitute the principal source of revenue. Here
in the Virgin Islands, however, this has not been the case.
While revenues from all tax sources have been climbing steadily upward, the
relationship between the total amount of revenues from all other sources have been
decreasing. For example, of revenues raised from all sources, taxes from real
Appendix D Page 3
In other Wdids, while the increased economic activity we have beeh eiterienc-
ing is being reflected in the various sources of feventie, e ierAe ti a eal 4ti6snba as
to whether the spiraling cost of land and other property transactions are being re-
flected proportionately in the amount of revenue being collected from real property
The question of the relationship which real property taxes should bear to all
other taxes is one which can best be answered in terms of a policy decision. Once
that decision is made it is then the job of the Office of the Tax Assessor to imple-
ment said decision in a way that would be fair and equitable to all taxpayers.
In this connection, let us again examine for a moment the West End Quarter,
Whim Estates from the standpoint of equity:
Assessment 1959 Equitable Ebtl
Plot No. Acreage Land Value Tax Assessed Land Value Tax
106C 6.00 $400 $5.00 $2400 $ 30.00
106D 1.00 400 5.00 400 5.00
106E 2.63 400 5.00 1052 13.50
107A .50 400 5.00 200 2.50
108A 5.07 405.60 5.07 2028 25.35
108B .53 800 10.00 212 2.65
$ 35.07 $ 79.00
Now let us look at the same area in terms of comparative land values for
1959 and 1961 as reflected on our tax rolls:
Appendix D Page 4
WEST END QUARTER Whim Estates
Code Assessed Assessed
Parcel No. Plot Acreage Land Value Tax Land Value Tax
93-153 106C 6.00 400. 5.00 3012 37.65
93-151 106D 1.00 400. 5.00 1200 15.00
93-152 106E 2.625 400. 5.00 1859 23.24
93-155 107A .50 400. 5.00 450 5.63
93-159 108A 5.07 405.60 5.07 1314 16.43
93-160 108B .53 800. 10.00 624 7.80
Still another example is a case involving two properties on King Street, both
within very close proximity to each other. One property includes an area of 2,824
square feet, and assessed at $900 up to 1959, while the other which is not only
much larger (19, 093 square feet) but also in a more commercially desirable location
was also assessed in 1959 at $900.
Faced with such gross inequities as cited above, most of which have been in
effect for possibly as long as most of us can remember, it is understandable that
any attempt to upset what in many instances has been a "good thing" tax wise will
give rise to some concern.
From the appeals which have been filed with the tax assessor's office in
St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John (a total of less than 1% of all tax bills mailed
out) it is quite clear that in most instances no consideration was given to the
question of whether the assessments were fair in light of present day valued to what
relationship, if any, these properties bore to others in the immediate or general
area. Instead the appeals for the most part seemed to haire stemmed mainly from
the fact that the taxpayers in question were being billed for an amount of taxes in
excess of what they were accustomed to pay.
Appendix D Page 5
Admittedly there are instances in which on the surface "excess" constitutes
a rather substantial figure. (But there is a logical explanation which goes back to
Act No. 768, approved June 20, 1961, Section 1 of which provides in part: "Not-
withstanding any provision of law to the contrary, tax liability for real property for
the calendar year 1960 assessed, levied, and collected by virtue of the provisions
of subtitle 2, Title 33 of the Virgin Islands Code shall not be in excess of 25 per
cent of the tax liability for the calendar year 1959. .)
Mindful of the hardships which some of our citizens experience in making
ends meet, any discussion of real property or any other form of taxation must
take into account those of our citizens on whom any increase resulting from efforts
to equalize or otherwise improve the system might impose an unfair and/or undue
burden. In this connection, let me state unequivocally that it has not nor is it and
hopefully never will be the policy of this or any other Administration to misuse
the power to levy taxes as a means of forcing our people to sell their land.
I believe it to be interesting to note, however, that in the May 31, 1961
memorandum referred to earlier from Messrs. Valdemar Hill and Alonzo Moron
"With reference to the objection that increased taxes will force the natives
to sell. their land, it is debatable whether higher taxes would be more to blame
than the desire of the landowner, native or otherwise, to sell when he considers the
price is right. The record of meeting his tax obligations is one of which the small
landowner in the Virgin Islands may well be proud. As long as people hold hard
cash or promissory notes iqbhigher esteem than land, we shall be plagued with
35T-, 72 7.2
Y81 7 Sr
/ 7? r
Appendix D Page 6
the prospect of losing ownership and control of our land. Providing homestead
exermhtions, subsidies for diversified agricultural production, improved roads,
public assistance for building hoines; creased availability of public utilities will
go further towards building pride in land ownership than the retention of an out-
moded tax system..."
In closing I wish merely to add that the new assessment program like any
other thing devised by man is not perfect. We have been striving, however, to
develop a system which is fair and equitable to all taxpayers -- one in which every-
one pays his fair share. We beleive as expressed by the Comptroller for the Virgin
"The new assessment program because of the improvements that
it now contains, the government of the Virgin Islands should be able to imple-
ment, and I might add is implementing, "a sound and effective system of assess-
ment and reassessment of real property. This system has been long overdue."