In accordance with Title 33 of the Virgin Islands Code, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor on Thursday announced that it will be shortly attaching, or placing liens on, delinquent properties in preparation for auction. Property owners in delinquent payment status of ten years or more were required to pay their past due taxes by July 1, 2011, in order to avoid the procedural attachment and auction of their properties. A listing of properties in delinquent payment status of ten years or more was published in local newspapers in May, 2011. This list is also available for viewing on the Office of the Lt. Governor’s website, www.ltg.gov.vi.
Lt. Governor Gregory R. Francis has instructed the Tax Collector’s Office to work with the Recorder of Deeds in filing the liens needed to move forward in collecting property taxes owed to the government. “Property owners should understand their responsibility to pay their property taxes. It is not fair for the government to ignore those taxpayers who are delinquent, when others have fulfilled their property tax obligations,” Francis stated. “In these economic times, it is critical that we take the measures needed to collect all revenues owed to the government. In so doing we are obligated to attach liens on delinquent properties as part of the process and wherever payments are past due.”
Francis is encouraging owners to take proactive measures to bring their property taxes current by contacting the Tax Collector’s Office to make arrangements for payment or to enter into an installment agreement. “Our employees are ready to assist affected property owners in crafting a payment plan that would enable them to work towards retaining their property,” he reminds the community.
Presently, over 1,000 properties are slated for auction unless property owners make arrangements for payment. A total of $9,424,599 is owed to the Government of the Virgin Islands. By island, the delinquent property breakdown is as follows: 84 parcels on St. John ($2,330,811), 239 ($2,174,147) on St. Croix and 838 ($4,919,641) on St. Thomas.
The Office of the Lt. Governor expects to complete the attachment phase of the delinquent property process in the coming weeks, at which time it will set a date for the statutorily mandated real property auction. A comprehensive list of the properties that are being attached in preparation for auction can be viewed at www.ltg.gov.vi.
For more information or to make arrangements for payment of delinquent properties, contact the Office of the Tax Collector in your respective district at (340)776-8505 on St. Thomas, 776-6737 on St. John, 773-1105 in Christiansted or 772-0120 for the Frederiksted office.