Lt. Governor's Office sets up property tax collection boxes
Published: July 11, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - New collection boxes at the Lt. Governor's Office are helping to reduce the crowded offices, long lines and hours of waiting for taxpayers taking advantage of the early payment discount.
Property owners who pay their 2010 property tax bills by Monday will get a 5 percent discount. People who pay their taxes after Monday but before July 30 will receive a 2.5 percent discount.
Shawna Richards, spokeswoman for the Lt. Governor's Office, said that even though the government is losing out on a small portion of revenue by offering the discount, the incentive brings in more revenue overall. She said the government brings in an average of about $18 million to $19 million during the discount periods.
"It's considered an opportunity for all parties to benefit," Richards said.
The only downside to the incentive program has been the high volume of people taking advantage of it - leading to long waits to reach a cashier.
To reduce the lines, collection boxes are being set up at three of the territory's high-traffic cashier windows. Collection boxes are available at the Builder's Emporium site on St. Thomas and will be installed at the Sunny Isle and Frederiksted locations on St. Croix this week.
"They can avoid the lines and utilize our property tax collection boxes, which are as secure as any payment being made at the window," Richards said. "The collection boxes are collected every day and are processed in a timely manner."
Richards said the boxes are for people paying with checks or money orders. Property owners using the drop boxes should include the bottom portion of the 2010 tax bill in the payment envelope. Additionally, drop box users who would like a receipt are asked to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their payment to receive a stamped receipt in the mail.
Payments made with cash, ATM, debit and credit cards - Visa and Mastercard only - can be made at the window only.
The 2010 property tax bills are issued to all property owners of record as of Jan. 1, 2011, and are due July 30.
Property tax bills that are not paid by Sept. 30 will incur late fees.
The deadline for filing appeals with the Board of Tax Review regarding tax assessments is Oct. 15.
Penalties and interest for late payment now are being assessed for all unpaid 2009 property tax bills.
All payments can be made at the Tax Collectors offices:
- On St. John at the Islandia Building.
- On St. Thomas at Builders Emporium.
- On St. Croix at Government House in Christiansted; at 1131 King Street, Suite 101, Christiansted; at the V.I. Finance Department Office in Sunny Isle; and at the Lagoon Street Commercial Building No. 1 in Frederiksted.
Payments can be made in person or by mail, and property owners paying their 2010 tax bill in person do not need a copy of their tax bill to make a payment.
Property owners making their payment by mail can enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope to have their payment receipt returned. Persons submitting their payments by mail are advised not to send cash.
For more information about the property tax bills, contact the Office of the Tax Assessor at 776-8505 on St. Thomas; 776-6737 on St. John; 773-6459 in Christiansted; or 772-3115 for the Frederiksted office.
Questions regarding delinquencies should be addressed to the Tax Collector's office at 776-8505 on St. Thomas; 776-6737 on St. John; 773-1105 in Christiansted; or 772-0120 at the Frederiksted Office.
To look up a tax billing history or pending bill, go to www.ltg.gov.vi.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.