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 Appendix A. Property revaluation...














Group Title: Annual report, Office of the Government Secretary, United States Virgin Islands
Title: Report.
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 Material Information
Title: Report.
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States. Office of the Government Secretary.
Publication Date: 1963-1964
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003624
Volume ID: VID00003
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Foreword
        Page i
        Page ii
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Appendix A. Property revaluation program for the Virgin Islands
        Page A-1
        Page A-2
        Page A-3
        Page A-4
        Page A-5
        Page A-6
        Page A-7
        Page A-8
        Page A-9
        Page A-10
        Page A-11
        Page A-12
        Page A-13
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UNIVERSITY
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

i
Forword i

Administration

Legislative Acts & Resolutions 1

Licensing 2

Trade Names 4

Corporations 5

Trademarks & Patents 6

Passports 7

Notaries Public 9

Insurance 11

Ministerial Licenses 13

Banking Board of the Virgin Islands 13

Sanitary Facilities 15

Board of Control of Alcoholic Beverages 15

Recorder of Deeds, St. Thomas 17

Recorder of Deeds, St. Croix 19

Office of the Tax Assessor 20

Virgin Islands Industrial Incentive Board 23

Appendix A -- "Property Revaluation Program
for the Virgin Islands" by Collett
and Clapp .






FORWARD

Summary of Activities
Office of the Government Secretary
Fiscal Year 1964


During Fiscal Year 1964, the continuing economic boom in the Virgin Islands was

reflected in the increased activity of the various divisions, agencies, and instrumentali-

ties of the Office of the Government Secretary. Administrative responsibility for the

varied functions under the jurisdiction of this office provides a barometer with which

to measure this continued growth of the community. These functions are assigned to

the Office of the Government Secretary by the Revised Organic Act of 1954 and the

Virgin Islands Code.

With the exception of the Industrial Incentive Board, all areas of responsibility of

the Office of the Government Secretary -- corporations, passports, licenses, real

property assessment, recording of documents, insurance, alcohol control -- experienced

increased activity. Due to the fact that no funds were appropriated for an Executive

Officer, the Industrial Incentive Board was severely handicapped in its work during the

fiscal year covered by this report.

Upon the recommendation of this office the Governor submitted to the Legislature

and secured enactment of the following pieces of legislation designed to enhance public

convenience as well as to enable the Office of the Government Secretary to better serve

an ever-expanding community:

a. Acts Nos. 1077 and 1184, approved February 20, 1964,
and April 6, 1964, respectively, increased the number
of Government and Public Notary Commissions allowed
in the Virgin Islands from 25 to 45.

b. Acts Nos. 1111 and 1236, approved March 25, 1964,
and June 30, 1964, to amend existing licensing laws









by listing 17 additional categories of licenses with
corresponding fees, and for other purposes.

A 200-page draft of a proposed new insurance law has been prepared and distributed

to insurance companies, agents, and interested persons for their review and comments

prior to final preparation for presentation to the Governor for submission to the Legislature.

A complete revision of the banking law is also in progress by the Office of the

Attorney General.

In addition to legislation, more rigid enforcement methods were adopted to cope

Switch problems in the areas of corporate activity, registration of trade names, renewal

of licenses, labelling and shipment into the Virgin Islands of alcoholic beverages. For

example, delinquent corporations were dissolved, businesses without proper licenses

were ordered to comply with the law or were closed; and establishments dealing in

alcoholic beverages were instructed as to the proper labelling of their products and

required to obtain appropriate licenses for their establishments. Also in cooperation

with the Collector of Customs, shipments of improperly labelled alcoholic beverages

were barred from entry into the Virgin Islands.

whereverr possible standard printed forms have been introduced (such as ministerial

oaths) or are under consideration (as in the case of trademark or patent registration) to

further enhance public convenience and improve public service.

A detailed report of each individual agency of the Office of the Government Secretary

follows.







ANNUAL REPORT

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT SECRETARY
FISCAL YEAR 1964

31a88B=*


The continuing phenomenal economic growth of the Virgin Islands was reflected in

the over all increased activity within the divisions, agencies, and instrumentalities of the

Office of the Government Secretary for the fiscal year 1964.

In accordance with the provisions of the Revised Organic Act of 1954 and the Virgin

Islands Code, the Office of the Government Secretary continued to discharge its responsi-

bility of supplying the Equity Publishing Corporation with all documents necessary for

compilation and publication of all legal documents of the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Material was sent for publication in the Supplements to the Virgin Islands Code, Virgin

Islands Rules and Regulations, Virgin Islands Register, Virgin Islands Session Laws, and

Slip Laws of the Virgin Islands.

In addition, all bills passed by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands and approved by

* the Governor are assigned act and resolution numbers, distributed to all government

departments and other interested officials, and printed in slip law form for filing and

distribution by the Office of the Government Secretary.

The following table shows the number of acts and resolutions which were passed,

approved, and processed through this office during the past five fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

Acts 140 146 140 133 172

Resolutions 15 25 14 39 44









Executive Orders and Proclamations issued by the Governor of the Virgin Islands

are promulgated and distributed by the Government Secretary's Office and are filed therein.

The following rable reflects the number of Executive Orders and Proclamations

issued by the Governor and processed through this office during the past five fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

Proclamat ions 19 35 31 48 42

Executive Orders 1 10 7 9 3

S LICENSING OF BUSINESSES AND OCCUPATIONS

Over the past five fiscal years fees collected for licenses showed an almost 100%

increase -- from $76, 000 at the end of fiscal year 1960 to $150, 000 at the end of fiscal

year 1964. With the increase in the number of license applications came the correspond-

ing increase in problems involving delinquency in renewal of licenses, licensing of

businesses heretofore not covered by the Virgin Islands Code, and the ever-increasing

number and varying kinds of businesses being attracted to these Islands.

To meet these problems several approaches were employed. Among them was

inclusion in the budget of a request for funds to provide for the employment of an

enforcement officer whose sole responsibility would be the policing of the licensing law

to ensure that each business operation has the proper license. As passed by the Fifth

Legislature during its regular session and as subsequently approved on April 15, 1964,

Act No. 1199, To Provide Appropriation for Salaries and Expenses for the Operation of

the Government of the Virgin Islands During the Fiscal Year July 1, 1964, to June 30, 1965,

included under the Department of Public Safety instead of the Office of the Government

Secretary, as requested, an appropriation for such a position.






-3-


In the interim, this office has been continuing to conduct spot checks to ensure full

compliance on the part of businesses with the licensing law. In addition, several con-

ferences were held with the Governor, Attorney General, and Commissioner of Public

Safety to secure agreement upon and coordinate efforts to enforce renewal of delinquent

licenses.

Attempting further to correct existing inadequacies, the Government Secretary

prepared and forwarded to the Governor for presentation to the Legislature Bill No. 2116

S which was subsequently adopted, with amendments. This bill, now Act No. 1111, was

approved by the Governor on Iviarch 25, 1964. It provides, among other things, for the

licensing of seventeen additional types of businesses and occupations, as well as for the

denial, suspension, and revocation of licenses and for judicial review.

Other legislation enacted during this fiscal year and which affected the licensing of

businesses is Act No. 1236. This measure was approved by the Governor on June 30, 1964.

It provides for the modification of fees for vending machine licenses.

In addition to the above mentioned steps designed to upgrade and improve the

licensing law and the administration thereof, an upv-ard revision of fees for most business

licenses was recommended. However, this provision of Bill No. 2116 was deleted there-

from as it was finally adopted by the Legislature.

The following chart shows a comparison of fees collected and licenses issued over

the past five fiscal years:










LI

1960

District Licenses

St. Thomas
& St. John 1227 $46,
St. Croix 886 30
Totals 2113 $76,
SIMOMillOlili


CENSES ISSUED AND FEES COLLECTED

1961

Fees Licenses Fees License


,238.50
,549.00
,787.50
= i


1393 $51,689.00
974 34,659.00
2367 $86,348.00


1963


* District

St. Thomas & St. John
St. Croix
Totals


Licenses

1716
1034
2750
vmd


Fees

$101,592.50
39,176.00
$140,768.50


1962

s


Fees


1514 $ 63,480.00
922 38,474.00
2436 $101,954.00


1964

Acenses Fees

2010 $117,421.50
1486 32,811.00
3496 150, 232. i
II M. ..


TRADE NAMES

A continued effort is being made to bring about full compliance with Act No. 923

of the Fifth Legislature which was approved January 25, 1963, and provides for Regis-

:ration of Trade Names. Towards this end a direct appeal by letter was made to each

licensed business with the dual objective of ensuring that the business public was fully

informed on the provisions of this newly passed law and encouraging compliance with the

law. As a result a total of 493 trade names were registered as of the end of the current

Fiscal year; 426 of which were registered during the fiscal year covered by this report.

In addition, there were 11 incompleted registrations pending receipt of supplementary

information at the end of the fiscal year.

Fees collected during this fiscal year for registration of trade names amounted to

$1, 695.001 as compared with $860.00 for the previous year.

1. Included are refunds which were subsequently made to persons and/or corporations
which, under the law, did not have to register.










CORPORATIONS

A total of 938 corporations now exist, of which 197 filed articles of incorporation

during the fiscal year covered by this report and as compared with a total of 682 as of

the end of the previous fiscal year. Of these 938 corporations, 803 are domestic, 97

foreign, and 38 non-profit.

This fiscal year witnessed a continuation of diligent efforts on the part of this office

urging corporations to meet their legal obligations, with special attention to the filing

of required reports and payment of franchise taxes. In this connection 40 corporations

were dissolved during the fiscal year for non-payment of franchise taxes; 179 were

referred to the Attorney General, in keeping with the applicable provisions of the Code,

for failure to file required reports. In addition, 28 complaints were filed in court by the

Attorney General which were subsequently dismissed on motion of the defense attorneys.

The results of the continuing efforts of this office in enforcing on the part of

corporations payment of their franchise taxes, as well as the over-all increased corporate

* activity are reflected in the following comparative tables for the past five fiscal years:


COMPARATIVE TABLE FRANCHISE TAXES & CORPORATE FEES

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

Filing Fees, etc. $ 12,306.09 $11,874.49 $ 12,458.34 $13,179.00 $15,196.17
Franchise Taxes
Inc. Penalties $16,657.56 $16,463.50 $ 20,127.56 $ 38,098.75 $35,770.92


2. Does not include franchise tax payments amounting to more than $5, 000 which were
received on June 30, 1964 -- closing day of the fiscal year -- but which were not
deposited until July 1, 1964.









COMPARATIVE CHART FRANCHISE TAXES & CORPORATE FEES

1960 1961 1962
Foreign Domestic Forein Domestic Foreign Domestic

Certificates of Incor-
poration Issued 8 111 14 115 17 166
Certificates of Amend-
ments Issued 1 30 1 24 2 30
Dissolutions 4 -3 12
Withdrawals 2 2 -
Mergers 2 3
Surrender of Corporate
Rights 3


1963 1964
Foreign Domestic Foreign Domestic

Certificates of Incor-
poration Issued 24 173 19 173
Certificates of Amend-
ments Issued 2 26 4 43
Dissolutions 4 85 49
Withdrawals 5 4 -
Mergers 1 1
Surrender of Corporate
Rights 6 4

TRADEMARKS & PATENTS

Registration of all trademarks and patents in the Virgin Islands continues to be pro-

cessed by this office in conformity with Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Governor

of the Virgin Islands under date of June 11, 1959. To further enhance the effective admin-

istration of these Rules and Regulations, consideration is currently being given to the

adoption of a standard form to be issued by this office whereby trademark counsellors may

be authorized by their clients to act as agents in the handling of trademark and patent

registrations in the Virgin Islands. Trademark and patent activity during the fiscal year










showed an increase in the amount of trademarks renewed as compared with the previous

two fiscal years. However, there was a decrease in the amount of original registration

of trademarks during the current year as compared with the same two previous fiscal

years. The following comparative table covers the past five fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

Original Registrations 18 12 24 24 19
Renewals 19 15 7 4 13
Assignments 2 6 8 6 -
Changes of Name 8 2 6 2 4
Mergers 4 4 20 2 -
Design Patents 4 1 1 1

55 39 66 39 37


Total fees collected for this activity during the current fiscal year amounted to

$907.50. Of this amount $200.00 represent fees which have been collected during the

fiscal year but for which registrations are being held in abeyance pending receipt of

additional information and/or documents in order to complete final registration.

The following is a comparative table of total fees collected for this activity covering

the past five fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

$ 1,052.50 $810,00 $1,032.50 $1,005.00 $907.50

PASSPORTS

The Government Secretary's Office continues to process all passport applications

for signature of the Governor of the Virgin Islands. These applications include issuance

of original passports filed through the Office of the Clerk of the District Court, renewals,







-8-


amendments, and extensions. This area of activity also includes the affixing of additional

visa pages in valid passport books -- a service which has been of great benefit to holders

of passports, the pages of which have been fully utilized.

Total passport actions covering the fiscal year ended June 30, 1964, reflects an

increase over the past four fiscal years. There has been a marked increase in the

number of passports renewed during the year as compared with the number for previous

fiscal years. However, the number of original passports issued and those amended

O remained the same as in fiscal year 1963. The following comparative table is submitted

covering the fiscal years 1960 through 1964.

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

Issued 169 191 199 273 273
Renewed 41 55 28 60 118
Amended 3 5 9 8 8
Extended 1 1 1 -- .

Total Actions 214 252 237 341 399


STotal fees collected for this activity during the fiscal year 1964 amounted to

$3, 115.00. Of this amount $68.00 represent fees which were collected during the last

month of the current year -- the passports for which were issued early the following

month, thus bringing them into fiscal year 1965.

The following is a comparison of fees collected over the past five fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

Total Fees
Collected $1,763.00 $1,994.00 $1,931.00 $2,762.00 $3,115.00










NOTARIES PUBLIC

All Notary Public Commissions issued in the Virgin Islands are processed through

the Office of the Government Secretary. As was true last year, the number of applications

for and inquiries about notary public commissions continued to increase noticeably.

However, not until the Legislature, upon the recommendation of this office through

the Governor, adopted Act No. 1077, approved February 20, 1964, increasing the number

of public notaries from 25 to 40 and the number of government notaries from 20 to 30,

S was it possible to meet this increased demand.

So large was the number of applications pending at the time Act No. 1077 was passed

that it was not too difficult to convince the Legislature of the necessity for a further in-

crease in the number of notaries public. Consequently, I ct No. 1184, approved April 6,

1964, was subsequently adopted -- thus further j~reasing the number of public notaries

from 40 to 45.

These modest increases will not long suffice in meeting the continuing demand as

S is reflected in the following tables for the past five-year period:

fiscal Year 1960

In Effect Total
June 30, Issued June 30, Renewed
1959 1960 Cancelled 1960 in 1960

Public Notaries (St. Croix) 5 3 8
Public Notaries (St. Thomas) 9 2 11
Government Notaries (St. Croix) 5 5
Government Notaries (St. Thomas) 10 6 -- 16
Fees Collected for renewals &
new commissions $255.00
Total Fees $?55.nn






*10-


Fiscal Year 1961


In Effect
June 30,
1960


Issued
1961


Total
June 30, Renewed
Cancelled 1961 in 1961


Public Notaries (St. Croix)
Public Notaries (St. Thomas
Government Notaries (St. Croix)
Government Notaries (St. Thomnas)
Fees Collected for Commissions
and renewals
Total Fees


Fiscal Year 1962


In Effect
June 30,
1961


Total
Issued June 30,
1962 Cancelled 1962


Public Notaries (St. Croix) 5
Public Notaries (St. Thomas) 10
Government Notaries (St. Croix) 5
Government Notaries (St. Thomas) 11
Fees Collected for new commissions
and renewals
Total Fees


Fiscal Year 1963


In Effect
June 30,
1962

Public Notaries (St. Croix) 7
Public Notaries (St. Thomas) 11
Government Notaries (St. Croix) 7
Government Notaries (St. Thomas) 14
Fees Collected for new Commissions
and renewals
Total Fees


Issued
1963

4


Total
June 30, Renewals
Cancelled 1963 in 1963


13 -


$245.00
$245.00


$135.00
$135.00


Renewals
in 1962


1
1
-$


$175.00
$175.00


,i






-11-


Fiscal Year 1964

In Effect Total Renewals
June 30, Issued June 30, in 1964
1963 1964 Cancelled 1964 St. T & St.C

Public Noraties (St. Croix) 11 3 -14 6
Public Notaries (St. Thomas) 14 8 1 21
Government Notaries (St. Croix) 7 1 8
Government Notaries (St. Thomas) 13 4 2 15
Fees Collected for new commissions
and renewals $480.00
Total Fees $480.00

INSURANCE

As a means of providing added protection for insurance policy holders in the Virgin

Islands and as a result of the experience of this office with two insurance companies within

the past two years, all insurance companies interested in doing business in the Virgin

Islands are being required, at the time of their applications, to post bonds and/or

securities in the form of cash deposit or United States Treasury Bonds of usually $50, 000

to $75, 000, depending on the type of insurance to be written. Such securities are in turn

deposited with one of the local banks -- subject to the control of the Insurance Commissioner,

At the end of the fiscal year 1964, there were 68 insurance companies authorized

to conduct business in the Virgin Islands, as compared with 69 last fiscal year and 61 the

year before. In addition, there were 6 new registrations during the year, as compared

with 9 last year.

The 68 companies referred to above include one recently organized domestic

company and 67 foreign companies (including one non-profit organization). The

previously organized domestic company is now in rehabilitation. Until a final determina-

tion is made the Insurance Commissioner approves payment of all claims and judgments

against this company.







-12-

During the fiscal year 113 licenses were issued, 63 of which were insurance agents'

and 50 insurance solicitors'. Of these 113 licenses, 33 were issued to apprentices, 26 to

solicitors and 7 to agents.

The following is a comparative table of taxes and fees collected for the past five

fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Renewal of Certificates of
Authority and Original
Registrations $1,651.00 $1,951.00 $3,076.00 $3,187.50 $2,747.50
S Agents Licenses 1, 521.00 2,111.00 2,821.86 3,068.22 2,870.00
Broker's License 100.00 -
Solicitors Licenses 200.00 827.53 1,460.00
Gross Premium Taxes 6,602.95 12,316.87 12,784.86 15,015.37 18, 769.49
Filing Annual Statements 98.50 126.00 151.00 167.50 172.50
Filing Power of Attorney 15.00 45.00 145.00 90.00 115.00
Sale of Insurance Laws 51.00 61.00 44.00 18.00
Totals $9,888.45 $16,700.87 $19,239.72 $22,400.12 $26,152.49


Numerous requests have been received for information pertaining to the licensing

of non-residents as insurance agents in the Virgin Islands. While the Virgin Islands Code

O contains provisions for the licensing of non-residents as agents and brokers to represent

underwriters' associations, there are no provisions concerning non-resident agents and

brokers in general. This subject is included in a draft revision of the Insurance Law now

under consideration.

Revision of the Insurance Law continues to be the objective of this office, and with

the cooperation of the Office of the Attorney General, work has been completed on the

first draft. Copies have been distributed to all insurance companies authorized to do

business in the Virgin Islands and to all other interested persons.






-13-


MINISTERIAL LICENSES

All Ministers of the Gospel are required to obtain a letter of authority from the

Government Secretary's Office in order to perform civil-religious ceremonies in the

Virgin Islands. No such letters are issued unless the proper credentials are submitted

evidencing the qualification of applicants to perform such ceremonies. The following table

reflects the number of such letters issued during the last five fiscal years:

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

S10 11 10 7 14

No fees are collected for this activity. During the fiscal year a printed form of Oath

was adopted which is required to. be executed ball tithorized ministers This forii is distrl-

buted at the time letters of authority are issued. Upon execution of this Oath the same

is retunred to the Office of the Government Secretary.

BANKING BOARD OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

The steadily increasing economic development of the Virgin Islands has been attract-

* ing the attention of a growing number of banking interests.
At the end of fiscal year 1964, there were four banks and one savings and loan

association doing business in the Virgin Islands -- The New St. Croix Savings Bank, The

Virgin Islands National Bank, The Chase Manhattan Bank, The Bank of Nova Scotia'and

The First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Puerto Rico.

All banking institutions named above except the New St. Croix Savings Bank operate

branches on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The New St. Croix Savings Bank operates branches

in Frederiksted and Christiansted, St. Croix. The Chase Manhattan Bank is the only

bank of those named above which operates on all three United States Virgin Islands. The







-14-


Virgin Islands National Bank operates a branch on the Island of Tortola, British Virgin

Islands and provides service one day a week on the Island of Virgin Gorda in the British

Virgin Islands.

Under the provisions of Title 9 of the Virgin Islands Code, the banks of the Virgin

Islands with the exception of the Virgin Islands National Bank and the First Federal Savings

and Loan Association are supervised by the Banking Board, of which the Government

Secretary serves as Chairman. National Banks are excluded from this supervision by

S virtue of the provisions of the National Bank Act of Congress (12 U.S.C. Sec. 21 et seq.).

For purposes of enhancing the comprehensiveness of this report and in order to pre-

sent an over-all picture of the vitality of the banking institutions, as well as an indication

of the economic strength of the Virgin Islands, the following is a comparative table reflect-

ing banking activities for the two-year period ended June 30, 1963, and June 30, 1964:

Fiscal Year '63 Fiscal Year '64

Total Assets $ 59,056,190.45 $ 67,782,950.85

Total Liabilities 56,270,413.12 63,908,111.13

Loans 9,149,990.47 13,282,331.67

Mortgages 21,766,369.67 27,925,425.09

Deposits (inc. Time, Demand
and Savings) 51,988,767.83 58,721, 00643

Cash on Hand 4,258,403.47 3,379, 280.27

A primary objective of the Banking Board continues to be a complete revision of the

banking laws. Following conferences between this office and the Office of the Attorney

General, as well as conferences between the Banking Board and representatives of the







-15-


Attorney General's Office, the Attorney General was requested to prepare a draft for

consideration by the Board, and subsequently by the Governor, the banking institutions,

and all other interested persons.

SANITARY FACILITIES

Regrettably, this program has ground to an almost complete halt due primarily to

a lack of funds in the Sanitary Facilities Fund.

At the close of this fiscal year as was true last year, the number of approved loan

applications being held in the Department of Finance pending availability of funds totals

30 and amounts to $29,028.12. In addition 26 loan applications amounting to approximately

$20, 500 upon which no action has been taken are pending in the Office of the Government

Secretary.

Implementation of this vitally important program has been further complicated by

the persistently acute housing shortage in these Islands. Property owners desirous of

renovating delapidated properties and installing modern sanitary facilities are stymied

* by the inability of tenants to find any other housing accommodation.

In the meantime, this office continues to recommend to the Governor for presentation

to the Legislature legislation to provide the necessary funds for the reactivation of the

Sanitary Facilities Fund and urgently needed impetus to this vitally important program.

BOARD OF CONTROL OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

The Board of Control of Alcoholic Beverages prescribes, administers, and enforces

regulations pertaining to the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, denatured

spirits, and articles containing denatured spirits.






-16-


During this fiscal year a physical inspection was made of every establishment in

the Virgin Islands offering alcoholic beverages for sale. This resulted in the discovery

of improperly labelled bottles, improper licenses, and even a few business operations

with no license at all. Appropriate action was taken and these irregularities were

corrected.

The following changes occurred in the rum industries of the Virgin Islands during

the past fiscal year:

* a. Cruzan Rum Distillery merged into A. H. Ritie Distillers Corporation
which subsequently changed its name to Virgin Islands Rum Industires,
Ltd.

b. Virgin Isle Distillers, Ltd. was dissolved and subsequently replaced
by Huntley, Ltd. as a manufacturer of articles containing denatured
spirits.

c. West Indies Distillers changed ownership, and the new owners were
granted a permit for the production of distilled spirits.

The following information regarding distillers, and manufacturers, as well as of

the amount of rum and other products containing alcohol which are produced in the Virgin

Islands and exported to the United States is of interest:

Distillers Licenses

1. Virgin Islands Rum Industries, Ltd. (St. Croix)
2. West Indies Distillers, Ltd. (St. Thomas)

Manufacturers Liquor Licenses

1. Brugal & Company, Inc. (St. Croix)
2. E. Delatour et Cie., (St. Croix)
3. Sunbilt Tropical Fruit Products Ltd. (St. Thomas)

Manufacturers of Denatured Alcohol

1. Virgin Islands Rum Industries, Ltd. (St. Croix)






-17-


Manufacturers of Articles Containing Denatured Spirits

1. Virgin Islands Rum Industries Ltd. doing business as
Virgin Islands Bay Rum Manufacturing Co. (St. Croix)
2. Huntley Ltd. (St. Thomas)
3. Warner Lambert Caribbean Corporation doing business as
West Indies Bay Co. (St. Thomas)
4. Virgin Islands Perfume Corporation (St. 'homas)

Rum Produced in the Virgin Islands
(in proof gallons for calendar year)


Year

1962
1963


Item


Rum
Thiskey
Cordials, Liqueurs, etc.

Total Proof Gallons


St. Thomas

200,000
157,470


St. Croix

1,084, 334
832,204


Alcoholic Beverages Exported to the United States
(in proof gallons for calendar year)

1959 1960 1961 1962 1963


577,850
5,285
7,548

590, 183


701, 124
114,357
9,236

824,717


693,119
123,434
5,080

821,633


825,387
4,343
4,381

834,121


735,077
2,568
28,571

766,216
=


Proof gallons of alcoholic beverages shipped from January 1, 1964, to June 30, 1964
amount to approximately 429, 608.

Perfumery Exported to the United States


Item


1959


1960


1961


1962


1963


Bay Rum, Toilet Water,
and Cosmetics


$232,884 $363,358 $258,072 $528,230 $602.328


OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS, ST. THOMAS


The effectiveness of the new system of collection of fees for the recordation of

documents instituted during the latter part of fiscal year 1963 by the Government Secretary







-18-


was fully evident during fiscal year 1964. A total of $42, 170.33 was collected in the Office

of the Recorder of Deeds, St. Thomas. This amount was $13,482.13 more than was

collected in fiscal year 1963.

The tremendous increase in the workload of the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in

St. Thomas reflects the upward trend of the economic progress in the Virgin Islands.

There was an increase of nearly 1500 documents of all types recorded during the fiscal

year.

The following charts offer a comparative picture of the activity in the Office of the

Recorder of Deeds, St. Thomas over the past five fiscal years:

COMPARATIVE LIST OF DOCUMENTS RECORDED
Fiscal Years 1960-1964


Documents

Deeds
Mortgages
Chattels
Conditional Sale, Installment,
& Contracts of Sale
* Cancellations & Releases
Bills of Sale
Leases
Liens
Adjudications
Easements
Death Certificates
Assignments
Miscellaneous

Totals


1960 1961

448 426
327 360
70 116

863 886
220 216

18
-- 34
18 24
15
-- 5
-- 35
116 86

2,062 2,221


1962

583
349
236

1,052
235
11
43
91
21
3
2
7
97

2,730


1963

547
535
570

886
356
155
37
9
31
45
11
--
171

3,353


1964

743
537
655

1,147
1,009
10
59
28
16
39
6
21
397

4,767






-19-


COMPARATIVE LIST OF FEES COLLECTED
Fiscal Years 1960-1964

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Total Fees
collected $15,670.25 $19,263.49 $22, 150.73 $28,688.20 $42, 170.33

To accommodate this increased volume of activity five additional cardex files had

to be purchased. New stands are being built to accommodate the Auxilliaries, and

negotiations are underway to procure a copying machine which will meet the increasing

demands of this office.

Microfilm: During fiscal year 1964 microfilming of all documents continued. Fourteen

Books containing approximately 400 pages each were microfilmed and four Auxilliaries

(Series 9 to 12) are ready for microfilming.

Translation: Translation of the St. John Books have been completed, as well as excerpts

from Series 3 Books which contain Deeds, Mortgages, and other miscellaneous items.

However, in view of the increasing number of urgent requests a complete translation of

Series 3 Books is being given priority.

There is an urgent need for a microfilm reader with sufficiently powerful lens and

with equipment for supplying photocopies of microfilmed documents. The funds for the

purchase of such a machine will be included in the budget for the ensuing fiscal year.

OFFICE OF RECORDER OF DEEDS, ST. CROIX

The Office of the Recorder of Deeds for the Judicial District of St. Croix, under the

jurisdiction of the Office of the Government Secretary, provides for the recording and/or

filing of deeds, contracts, mortgages, and other legal instruments in said District

relating to the transfer of title to and encumbrances on real and personal property, and







-20-


other legal instruments required or authorized by law to be recorded or filed. A total

of $31,956.50 in fees was billed for collection for these services over the past fiscal year.

The following charts illustrate the increased activity in this office over the past five

fiscal years:


Document

Deeds
Mortgages
Chattel Mortgages
Conditional Sales C
Cancellations
Adjudications
Certificates of Atta
Certificates of Dea
Miscellaneous

Totals


COMPARATIVE LIST OF DOCUMENTS RECORDED
Fiscal Years 1960-1964

1960 1961 1962 1963

480 441 676 718
325 383 403 501
113 144 166 121
contractss 59 106 161 437
240 401 352 383
8 15 30 19
Lchment -- 107 113 45
th 16 8 10 23
119 132 297 295

1,360 1,737 2,325 2,552


COMPARATIVE LIST OF FEES COLLECTED
Fiscal Years 1960-1964


1960


1961


1962


1963


1964

748
539
193
357
431
12
55
9
399

2,743






1964


Total Fees
collected $13,774.75 $19,838.75 $14,412.25 $22,111.50 $31,956.50

OFFICE OF THE TAX ASSESSOR

Efforts were continued during fiscal year 1964 to upgrade and revise the real property

assessment system of the Virgin Islands in order to maintain equity in the system of real

property assessment and to coordinate assessments and taxes with the present market

values.

Again, the services of the management consultant firm of Collett & Clapp, which







-21-


conducted the original reassessment study in the Virgin Islands in 1960, were retained

to evaluate the workings of the system to date and to assist in such further revision and

upgrading of thexeel property assessment system as might have been deemed necessary

from said evaluation.

This latest study revealed interesting and useful information. For example, it was

discovered that land value in all three Islands had increased over 100% since 1960.

A detailed report on the above mentioned study entitled "Property Revaluation Pro-

gram in the Virgin Islands" submitted by Collett & Clapp at the end of the study is attached

to this Annual Report and is entitled Appendix A.

Based on the recently completed study, among other things, Collett and Clapp fur-

nished the Office of the Tax Assessor with guides in the revaluation process, new cost

data schedules based on present day value of materials and labor to aid in establishment

of assessment for trailers and other improvements, and a new "time and possible use

schedule" to guide land appraisers and computation clerks in arriving at the proper assess-

* ments for large tracts of land which do not show signs of development or subdivision.

In addition, a schedule of reassessment which call for the appraisal of one third

of all properties each year was established. This is designed to bring about the complete

revaluation of all Virgin Islands properties every three years.

Consideration is being given to recommendation of legislation to change the filing

date for Homestead Exemption from May 15th to January 30th of each tax year in order to

facilitate billing and reduce the number of "corrected" bills which result from the

present provision.






-22-


The assessments and taxes appearing on charts at the end of this report for the

Office of the Tax Assessor have been subject to deductions and limitations required by:

a. Act No. 834, approved March 15, 1962, to provide homestead
exemption from payment of real property taxes up to $37.50.

b. Act No. 909, approved June 18, 1962, to spread over a four-
year period any increase in real property taxes for the calendar year
1961 over those paid for 1960.

Despite these deductions which reduced the amount of real property taxes by

$95, 987.69, there was an increase of $142,501.42 in taxes due for the year 1963. In

addition, there is every reason to believe that the continued efforts to maintain equity and

provide a realistic real property tax system for the Virgin Islands will produce an even

greater source of revenue for these Islands.

The following charts reflect the increased activity and the effectiveness of the

upgraded and revised system of real property assessment and taxation since 1960:


Island

St. Thomas




St. Croix




St. John


DETAILED CHART OF ASSESSMENTS AND TAXES 1960-63
No. of Bills
Year Issued Assessment

1960 5377 $ 28,777,774.00 $
1961 5500 28,098,747.00
1962 5744 30,148,342.00
1963 6210 34,520,023.00

1960 4913 30,568,144.00
1961 5100 28,661,753.00
1962 5397 31,078,240.00
1963 5731 35,302,237.00
1960 662 1,846,734.00
1961 703 1,981,270.00
1962 714 2, 119,749.00
49 788 2,195,352.00


Taxes

359,722.18
351,234.34
376,854.28
431,500.29

382, 101.80
358,271.91
388,478.00
441,277.96

23,084.18
24,765.88
26,496.86
27,441.90






-23-

DETAILED CHART OF HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS AND TAX MODIFICATIONS


No. of


Island Year

St.Thornoas 1961
1962
1963
St. Croix 1961
1962
1963

St. John 1961
1962
1963


No. of


Homestead Modifica-
Exemptions tions

800 1651
989 1373
1,031 1521
666 2500
990 2188
1,182 2133
110 364
120 368
125 366

Total Deductions: 1961
1962
1963


Amount of
Homestead
Exemptions

$ 20,000.00
24,274.31
28,913.96
25,300.00
31,830.66
34,905.85
2,500.00
2,869.75
3,265.68

$152,973.64
129,098.42
102,771.59


TOTAL ASSESSMENTS AND TAXES
St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John
19oU-iY13 -

Taxes Before
Assessment Adjustment

$ 61,192,652.00 $764,908.16
58,741,770.00 734,272.13
63,346,331.00 791,829.14
72,017,612.00 900,220.15


* Taxes to be
Collected

$ 542,249.39
581,598.49
662,730.72
804,232.46


VIRGIN ISLANDS INDUSTRIAL INCENTIVE BOARD

The Virgin Islands Industrial Incentive Board provided for by Act No. 798, Third

Special Session of the Fourth Legislature of the Virgin Islands, approved November 3,

1961, effective January 1, 1962, as amended, was composed as of the beginning of the

fiscal year and until April 1, 1964, of the Government Secretary and the Director of the

Budget ex officio, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, and five members appointed by


Year

1960
1961
1962
1963


Amount of Total in
Modifications Taxes

$ 35,442.00 $55,442.00
23,628.88 47,903.19
12,512.64 41,426.60
63,131.64 88,431.64
42,087.73 73,918.39
21,148.11 56,053.96
6,600.00 9,100.00
4,407.07 7,276.82
2,025.35 5,291.03

Grand Total for
Three-year period
$384, 843.65







-24-


the Governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature. However, under the provisions

of Act No. 1152, approved April 1, 1964, the composition of the Board was revised to

consist of:


Incent


1. The Government Secretary who shall be a member ex officio

and Chairman of the Board.

2. The Director of the Budget who shall be a member ex officio

and Secretary of the Board.

3. The Commissioner of Commerce and the Director of the Tax

Division of the Department of Finance who shall be members

ex officio.

4. Three members appointed by the Governor with the advice

and consent of the Legislature.

By Act No. 1122, also approved on April 1, 1964, the Virgin Islands Industrial

:ive Law was further amended as follows:

1. Deleted as a condition for the qualifying of a person, firm, or

corporation for tax exemption:

A. The need for establishing the fact that the

business "requires for its establishment

or expansion the granting of tax exemption

and subsidy benefits."

B. The provision for "feeding of paying guests"

as part of the definition of a hotel or guest

house.






-25-


2. Increased from 10 to 15 the minimun number of furnished

bedrooms as part of the definition of a hotel, motel, or

guest house.

3. Provided for lifting the ten-year ceiling on the granting of

tax exemption-and subsidy benefits as follows:

A. In the cases of hotels, motels or guest

houses of not less than fifty (50) furnished

bedrooms, first qualifying for tax exemption

and/or subsidy benefits on or after April 1,.

1964 an investment of .$500,000 to $999,000

will entitle the owner or operator to an

additional three (3) years of tax exemption

and subsidy; and

B. In the case of hotels, motels or guest houses

of not less than one hundred (100) furnished

bedrooms, first qualifying for tax exemption

and/or subsidy benefits on or after April 1,

1964, an investment of not less than $1, 000, 000

will entitle the owner or operator to an additional

six (6) years of tax exemption and subsidy.

C. Existing hotel, motel or guest house owners

or operators, who prior to April 1, 1964, have

been granted tax exemption and subsidy shall be






-26-


entitled to an extension, or if their certifi-

cates have expired, to a new certificate of

of tax exemption and subsidy for the period

or periods set forth below provided they

expend or cause to be expended by

December 31, 1965, the sums set forth

below for the improvement of existing

facilities or the addition of new facilities:

1. For an expenditure of not less

than $100, 000 which expenditure

shall include the addition of at

least six (6) guestrooms, an

additional three-year period, pro-

vided that such period shall not

extend beyond December 31, 1968:

2. For an expenditure of not less

than $200, 000 which expenditure

shall include the addition of at

least twelve (12) guestrooms, an

additional six-year period, provided

that such period shall not extend

beyond December 31, 1971;

3, For an expenditure of not less than







-27-

$300, 000 which expenditure shall

include the addition of at least -

eighteen (18) guestrooms, an

additional eight-year period, pro-

vided that such period shall not

extend beyond December 31, 1978;

4. .For an expenditure of not less than

$400, 000 which expenditure shall

include the addition of at least

twenty-five (25) guestrooms, an

additional ten-year period, pro-

vided that such period shall not

extend beyond December 31, 1975.

4. Provided for the inclusion of "sightseeing tours and guided package

tours" in definition of "transportation service" for purposes of

tax exemption and subsidy benefits.

There is general agreement on the importance of this program to the continued

economic growth of the Virgin Islands. Nevertheless, it was severely curtailed due to

Congressional scrutiny of the production of woolen yard goods and watches, as well as be-

cause of the refusal of the Legislature to provide in annual and supplementary budget

requests needed funds for necessary staff and other essential services. It was not until

the last month of fiscal year 1964 that funds were finally made available for the employ-

ment of an Executive Officer.






-28-


As of the end of this fiscal year there were 74 persons, firms, or corporations

holding Certificates of Tax Exemption and Subsidies, comprised of 50 assorted small

businesses and 24 hotels and guest houses which employed an estimated 2,224 employees

with an average payroll of over five million dollars.

The following tables give a picture of the average wage and employment distribution

among the various industries, comparative subsidy payments, and comparison of estimated

amount of subsidies on local taxes and fees to tax exempt firms:

Average VWage and Employmeilt Distribution
For Different Types of Tax Exempt Industries
Fiscal Year 1964

Average Number Average Number Average Annual
Industry ,,.. of Eimploees of Bonded Employees Payroll


Hotels, Guesthouses
and Motels
Watches & Related Products
Costume Jewelry & Related
Products
Shower Proofing Woolens
Knitting, Spinning &Weaving
of Woolens
Chemicals & Related Products
All Others3
Totals


1,353
505

56
51

68
3
188

2,224


473
6


15

3

15

512


$ 2,678,322.00
1,736,326.00

119,737.00
82,056.00

112,094.00
10,660.00
742,951.00

$5,482,146.00


2. Affected by quota
3. Includes thermometers, manufactured woolen garments, dairy products, construction
materials, etc.






-29-

Comparative Chart on Subsidies
Received by Tax Exempt Firms

Fiscal Yr. Fiscal Yr. Fiscal Yr.
Item 1962 1963 1964
4
Customs Duties $ 287,272.90 $ 405,432.00 $ 397,001.00
Dividend Claims 36,710.49 2,663.00 7,952.00
Income Tax 566,139.91 105,488.00 729,439.00
Income Tax (P.L. 86-779) -- 172,052.00 288,238.00



Estimated Amount of Industrial
Subsidies on Local Taxes & Fees

Item 1954' 1964 Increase % of Increase

Customs Duties $ 1,617.00 $397,001,00 $395,384.00 95.9%
Real Estate Taxes 29,500.00 78,600.00 49,100.00 62.5%
Business Licenses 1,700.00 3, 000.00 1,300.00 71.4%
Corporation Fees 4,800.00 10,000.00 5,200.00 52.0%
Gross Receipt Taxes 35.000.00 130,000,00 95,000.00 73.1%
$'72,617.00 $ 618,601.00 $545,984.00


The fiscal year witnessed the continued attraction of an impressive number of in-

vestors and other interested individuals to the Virgin Islands for the purpose of exploring

the possibility of participating in the Industrial Incentive Program. The fruitfulness of

many of these inquiries were influenced by such limitations as inadequate space, land

and buildings; power; water; and trained workers.

It is urged, therefore, that every effort be made to ensure the availability of

adequate facilities for much needed expanded industrial development.

Also of vital importance to such development and the over-all economic future is

4. Firms qualifying for Tax Exemption are now receiving 90% refund instead of 100%
5. Source: Annual Report, Fiscal Year 1954






-30-


intensification of planning designed to continually improving vocational education programs

and geared to meeting the varying and urgent needs of the Virgin Islands.

The foregoing assumes even greater significance and urgency when viewed in light

of the increasing competitive pressures which are being exerted on the Virgin Islands by

their neighbors in the Caribbean.

Therefore, the challenge confronting those Virgin Islands continues to be the

strengthening of their economic base thus helping to ensure the continued unprecedented

economic growth they have been experJencing end wo steadily improve.the well-being of

their people.


-30-






APPENDIX A


Property Revaluation Program
for the
Virgin Islands


The real property assessment system for the Virgin Islands was developed and

installed during the years 1959 and 1960. New forms and records were created and all

real property subject to taxation was reappraised and assessments based on the revised

values were established for the year 1960 and taxes levied thereon were collected during

1961. Since property values change, it is necessary to revise assessments from time to

time if valuations for assessment purposes are to be maintained in accordance with the

market as provided by law.

At the time the system was developed and incorporated in the manual of procedures,

it was recommended that property in the Virgin Islands be revalued every three or four

years and that this be done on a cycle basis. Now that the system has been in operation

for four years, the valuation maintenance program was initiated this year. A conference

between the consultants and government officials resulted in a decision to establish the

valuation maintenance program on a three-year revaluation schedule to be performed on

a cycle basis in which one-third of all property will be appraised each year.

Administration of the Assessment System

Before beginning the actual appraisal of property, administration of the assessment

system was reviewed and evaluated. It is the opinion of the consultants that the Office

of the Tax Assessor is administering the function of real property assessment in the

Virgin Islands exceptionally well.

Work Organization

The work is functionally organized to obtain maximum efficiency in operation and










specialization in the use of personnel. Approved procedures for the mass appraisal of

of property for assessment purposes are bieng followed in work assignments so that

appraisers devote a major portion of their time to the technical aspects of property assess-

ment, leaving to clerical personnel such tasks as the computation of values, maintenance

of records, and routine office activities that require less specialized knowledge and

training.

Following installation of the assessment system and the consequent reduction of the

volume of work, the number of employees was reduced. Due to the increased work-load

that will result from the valuation maintenance program now being inaugurated, plus the

unprecedented growth that the islands have experienced in the last two or three years with

every indication that it will continue, there is need for the addition of one appraiser in

each of the offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix. An additional clerk for the St. Thomas

office will also be needed next year.

Facilities

In both St. Thomas and St. Croix, the assessment offices are well arranged for

attractiveness and efficient operation. Desks, chairs, and filing equipment, with one or

two exceptions, are steel and in good condition. Adding machines, typewriters, and

calculators are of good quality, but there is need for another calculator for each of the

two offices.

Transportation equipment is essential in the work of property appraisal and the

lack of it seriously affects operations, of resulting in revenue losses significantly in

excess of the cost of such equipment. There is need now for two four-wheel vehicles for

St. Thomas and one for St. Croix plus a replacement for a worn out sedan.









The Office of the Tax Assessor has a good system of records and, except for the

map tracings, it is in excellent condition. The tracings are very valuable and it would

be quite costly to replace them. They are on flimsy paper and, as a consequence, are

deteriorating rapidly.

It is a matter of urgency that these important and valuable records be processed

onto film or some other suitable and durable material.

Appraisal Problems

During the four years that the new assessment system has been operating there

have developed a number of problems that need to be resolved. A list of these had been

prepared in advance of the arrival of the consultants. The problems that pertained to

methods, procedures, and techniques were resolved in discussion sessions. Those

problems that had reference to the application of unit costs and modification factors

were resolved by an evaluation of the basic value data and, when justified, the schedules

were revised.

Urban Land

A review of manual materials and the methods of applying them disclosed that no

revisions were necessary. Computation procedures and the illustrative examples have

provided ample guidance for calculating parcel values. The modification factors reflect

accurate measurements of the effect of area, frontage, location, shape, and topography.

Sales and some income data had been accumulated and the sales data had been

reduced to square foot unit values and posted to the land-value maps in St. Thomas.

There had been some delay in obtaining new copies of maps from the Department of

Public Works in St. Croix, however, so that not as much progress in this phase of the










work had been accomplished there. Income information had been tabulated on cards, but

reducing the data to square units of value for posting to the land-value maps was postponed

(because of some uncertainty as to the processes involved) until consulting assistance

could be provided. Zoning and utility lines were yet to be delineated on the land value

maps.

Further instruction was given in the conversion of income data to capitalized value,

which is the most desirable method of estimating the value of commercial-type property.

The income information that had been accumulated was used as the basis for the instruction

and the data, when translated into square foot units of value, were recorded on the land-

value maps. Assistance was also rendered in establishing units of value for the downtown

commercial areas of Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, and Frederickstead.

Rural Land

The major appraisal problems that had been encountered by the Office of the Tax

Assessor had to do with the appraisal of rural homesite properties. Modifications for

area and deferred development that were being applied to the unit values were resulting in

per acre values, particularly of large tracts, that were considerably below market value as

evidenced by actual sales.

The area modification factor table was tested against actual sales and was found to be

very accurate for areas up to ninety-odd acres, the largest sale that had been recorded

since installation of the new system. According to the table, the modification factor for

100 acres is .504, or approximately one-half the value per acre of a one-area tract. It

is doubtful whether the value per acre continues to decline significantly in tracts that

exceed 100 acres. It was decided, therefore, that no further discount for areas beyond









this acreage should be applied automatically by the computer from the factors in the table.

It was recommended that such modification be allowed only at the discretion of the

appraiser who will base his decision upon positive evidence that the additional modification

is necessary to reflect the market value.

The 40% factor that had been developed to reflect the deferred demand for homesites

was found to be unrealistic because the demand for homesites had far exceeded estimates.

A sounder approach to this problem was developed. Instead of applying the same deferred

factor to all undeveloped homesite tracts, a sliding scale of discounts was developed with

the lesser amounts to be applied to tracts which, by reason of location or other circum-

stances, are appropriate for subdivision and the larger discounts to be applied to tracts

not so imminently suitable for such development. The categories into which properties

are to be classified will be determined by the appraiser.

Approved procedures for appraising acreage tracts that are best suited for sub-

division into residential usage parallels that of investors who purchase such tracts for

the purpose of development. Estimates of the value of such tracts start with the price at

which the developer reasonably can expect to sell each homesite; from that figure deductions

are made for all costs of developing and marketing, including surveying and abstracting,

street construction and utility installations, expenses of selling, interest on investments,

and a reasonable profit.

The appraisers for the Virgin Islands have been following this same procedure but

have relied upon the modification schedules for area, topography, and deferred development

to provide the proper discount from the selling price of the subdivided parcel to the present

worth of the undeveloped acreage. In some inaances this has resulted in erroneous values.










A new approach to the determination of the amount to discount was formulated, based on

actual cost-of-development experience which, according to local developers, ranges

from $2, 000 per acre for flat land to $3, 000 per acre for rugged terrain. A schedule

of discounts to be allowed for development and marketing costs was established on the

basis of $2,000 per acre for land that is approximately level, $2,500 per acre for rolling

land, and $3, 000 per acre for land with more uneven topography.

Improvements

Methods and procedures of appraising improvements, as well as factual data and

their application, were reviewed. The life-expectancy tables and rates on which depre-

ciation is based were found to be satisfactory. Replacement-cost unit factor schedules

were developed for prefabricated residential and commercial buildings. It was decided

that mobile homes, or house trailers, which become real property when the wheels are

removed and foundations substituted, of which there are only a few, will be appraised

individually as special appraisals and, therefore, no cost schedules will be required.

Classes and unit cost factors, based on volume, were developed for gasoline storage tanks.

The problem that was causing the most difficulty was the determination of when

property is real and when it is personal. An accurate determination is important because

the Virgin Islands Government does not assess personal property. Most of the items with

which the appraisers were concerned -- such as manufacturing machinery and processing

equipment -- are clearly in the category of personal property.

The determination of when property is real and when it is personal, however, is

sometimes quite difficult and, as a result, there have been many appeals to the courts on

the mainland for clarification. In an effort to assist the appraisers in making the









determination of when questionable property is real and when it is personal, some crietria

were suggested. The usual criterion that is cited is whether the property is permanently

attached to the land or the improvements. This is not always easy to determine. One

guide is whether removal would materially damage the property; another is whether the

intent, when installed, was that the item become a part of the structure; and yet another

test is whether the item is necessary for the improvements to serve the purpose for which

it was constructed, such as an elevator, plumbing, or electricity, or whether the item

contirbutes to an operation that is extraneous to the building itself. If, after subjecting

the property to the above tests, the determination remains uncertain, the matter should

be submitted to an attorney for a legal opinion.

The increase in building construction costs that have occurred since the replacement-

cost estimates bad been made at the time the manual was developed in 1959 and 1960

indicated the necessity for revising unit cost schedules. An analysis disclosed that the

increases in the cost of materials that go into buildings had been reasonably uniform for

all types of structures so that it would not be necessary to make detailed cost estimates

of each typical building in the classification system. Instead, it was concluded that an

estimate of the over-all percentage increase would produce a factor that would be accurate

enough for use in computing revised cost factors.

The percentage of increase proved to be slightly more than 25% for St. Thomas and

a little less for St. Croix, but it was not believed that these differences were sufficient to

adopt separate schedules for each of the areas. The building unit cost factors as they

appear in the revised tables, therefore, represent a 25% increase.






-8-


Reappraisal Procedures

Following the decision to reappraise property on a three-year cycle basis, the

properties in each of the assessment districts of St. Thomas and St. Croix were divided

into Appraisal Area I, to be reappraised during 1964, Appraisal Area II to be reappraised

during 1965; Appraisal Area III, to be reappraised during 1966; and, following the same

sequence, continue on a cycle basis to appraise the property in one appraisal area in each

jurisdiction each year. The new values established by the new appraisals will be imple-

mented each year as they are appraised, except that the revised values of Appraisal

Area I of each jurisdiction will not be put into effect until 1965 when both Appraisal

Areas I and II will have been assessed.

Maintaining the real property assessment system in the Virgin Islands through a

continuing revaluation program consists of three phases to be performed annually in

each jurisdiction in the following sequence: (1) the reappraisal of all property, both land

and improvements, in one appraisal area; (2) the appraisal of all new subdivisions and

new building construction and the reappraisal of properties affected by major developments

in all areas; and (3) inspection of all subdivisions in process of being developed and

buildings under construction to determine percentage of completion on January 15th at the

end of the assessment year.

It should be pointed out that in the manual it was contemplated that the third phase

would be performed first, on the assumption that the assessment date was the beginning

oiL ;'i -, ,,3:ment year as it is in most jurisdictions. Virgin Islands law as interpreted

by te courts, however, establishes the date as of which property exists for purposes of

taxation is January 15th at the end of the assessment year. This makes it necessary that







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partial completions of subdivisions and buildings be inspected at the end of the year's

assessment activities instead of the beginning.

Procedures for maintaining property assessments in relation to current values by a

continuing revaluation program is described in detail in the respective sections of the

manual devoted to the appraisal of urban land, rural land, and improvements. These

procedures should be observed carefully and used as a guide for future operations. It is

not necessary to repeat them here; but a brief resuiid in terms of this first year's

activities may be helpful.

Reappraisal of Urban Land

Throughout each year value information pertaining to the value of urban land should

be accumulated and tabulated or posted to value-data cards and land-value maps. These

data consist of information regarding sales and income. Such factual evidences of value

are supplemented by other value influences, usually not susceptable to recording, of which

the appraisers have knowledge gained through contacts, observation, and judgment based

on experience.

At the beginning of the reappraisal activity, land-value maps are developed by posting

the value data to one set of up-to-date section maps. The date and amount of those sales

transactions which, upon analysis, are believed to be valid are posted to the properties

on the maps and then reduced, according to formulas given in the manual, to square-foot

units of value. Income transactions for downtown commercial properties are first

capitalized, at appropriate rates, into value and likewise recorded on the maps. This

portion of the reappraisal should be completed by June Ist this year; but in the future

every effort should be made to complete this phase of urban land reappraisal by the end






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of March.

The balance of the year to December 1st should be allotted to establishing units

of value, the modifications, calculation of the value of individual urban land parcels and

processing the revised values onto the assessment records. It is of utmost importance

that this pahse of the work be completed on schedule because all remaining time is

needed for the final phase of assessment activities.

The assessment activities are completed at the end of the assessment year by

making inspections to ascertain the stage which subdivision in process of development

have reached as of January 15th. Since it is impossible to inspect all such properties on

the one day, it is necessary to begin the work far enough in advance to complete it by that

date. Starting the work December 1st results in only an insignificant loss in value to be

assessed because there is so little construction activity during that period because of the

Christmas holidays.

Reappriasal of Rural Land

Value information pertaining to rural land, as in the case of urban land, should be

accumulated and tabulated or posted to value-data cards and land-value maps. In the

cases of recreational and homesite properties, the saine procedures for the development

of land-value maps by posting sales data are applicable. Income rarely exists as a value

factor for such properties, and therefore, is not of significance in the process of apprais-

ing real property. Trends in growth and development and other value influences which

come to the attention to appraisers, however, are of great importance and contribute to

the formulation of an opinion of value.

It is doubtful that there have been any material changes in the value of agricultural










land. The chief problem is the determination of when land ceases to be properly classified

as agricultural and becomes recreationAl or homesite property because of the demand for

its development. Resolving the proper classification of such property is a task for the ap-

praisers on St. Croix and the problem will require serious study and careful judgment as

discussed at length with the Tax Assessor and his staff,

After the land-value maps have been developed, the procedures are similar to those

of urban land appraisal in which the sales data are translated into acre units of value and

the modifications applied in accordance with the revised schedules for area, topography,

and deferred development. Revision of the tables and recording of value data on the

land-value maps should be completed by June 1st. In future years, however, this work

should be done by April 1st.

As in the case of the schedule of urban land appraisal, the rest of the year to

December 1st should be devoted to field appraisals in which the acre units of value are

established, modifications for variations determined, calculations of individual parcel

value made, and the revised values processed onto the assessment records. This phase

of the work must be completed on schedule to allow time for the last phase of the assess-

ment of rural property.

Determining the stage that has been reached by January 1st in the development of

subdivisions in process of being subdivided is as necessary for properties in rural areas

as in urban areas. The period allotted for inspecting such properties is from December 1st

to January 15th.

Reappraisal of Improvements

A file of cost data and other building-value information is maintained at all times. At







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the beginning of the cycle of reappraisal every third year it is necessary to make an

analysis of costs of construction to determine the changes that have occurred since the

schedules were last prepared. The revaluation program is being instituted now so that

this is the first time the schedules have been revised. The task proved to be relatively

simple. An analysis of material and labor costs disclosed, as indicated above, that there

had been a uniform increase of approximately 25%7 for all types of construction so it was

possible to make the adjustments by applying a factor of 125 to each cost unit.

The factors developed at the beginning of each appraisal cycle are to be used for the

three-year period during which properties will be appraised in all three appraisal areas.

Future revisions of the cost schedules may require complete re-estimates of the cost of

each typical class of building in the improvements classification system. This phase of

the work can consume considerable time, but it should be completed by April 1st, if

possible, because the next phase of the reappraisal represents the greatest volume of

work in the entire program.

The reappraisal of improvements consists of rechecking buildings previously

appraised, appraising new structures, computing values, and processing information onto

the records. The first two steps are performed in the field and the last two are office

operations; the office aspects of the work follow closely behind the field work.

Appraisers should take into the field with them the appraisal cards for all property

appearing on at least one section map and will visit each property, using the map to

identify the property they are appraising and to be sure none is overlooked. The value

of the property, as it appears on the appraisal card, is checked by the appraiser and he

decides if it represents, in his opinion, the value of the property. All recordings are next






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reviewed to determine their accuracy, and depreciation that has accrued since the last

appraisal is allowed at this time. Usually it will not be necessary for the appraiser to

enter buildings when making the inspection, but if the appraiser has reason to believe

the structure has undergone some change or that the appraisal is incorrect, the property

should be completely reappraised.

Building permits that have been issued during the year in the area being appraised

are attached to their respective appraisal cards and are appraised at this time if they are

sufficiently far along in construction for this to be done. Any buildings that were only

partially completed the previous year and have not been appraised are also appraised at

this point.

,fWhen the reappraisal of properties in the appraisal area have been completed, all

properties on which building.permits have been issued throughout the other parts of the

islands are appraised or reappraised as circumstances may require. Buildings not

sufficiently complete for appraisal at the time they are visited are revisited later in order

to make the appraisal or to determine the percentage of completion. This phase of the

work, including the appraisal area, must be completed by December 1st.

In order to determine the value of incompleted structures, which is the final stage

of the annual assessment work as it applies to improvements, it is necessary for the

appraisers to check each property for which a building permit has been issued but for which

the appraisal has not been completed. The percent of completion and the descriptive stage

of construction are to be recorded on the building permit and the property tentatively

appraised if this is possible. Otherwise, a flat value, based on the appraiser's judgment,

is placed on the property.




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