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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, December 1, 2023


President Bill Clinton has included in his fiscal year 2000 budget a proposal to return to the Virgin Islands the entire $13.50-per-proof gallon federal tax levied on V.I. rum.
This is an increase of $3 over the present $10.50 per gallon returned to the V.I. government.
Experts estimate the difference could mean an extra $12 million into the coffers of the financially strained territory.
Until this year the territory had gotten back $11.30 in federal excise taxes on Virgin Islands rum but last fall the Congress refused to leave it at that level or boost it to the full $13.50 as V.I. officials had hoped.
After attending the official White House announcement, Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christensen said, “I am pleased the president has again proposed this increase to assist the territory’s economic recovery. While we were unable to accomplish this increase by the end of the 105th Congress, I believe the inclusion in this year’s budget will provide the needed push to obtain congressional approval when it is considered later this year.”
In addition to the rum tax rebate, the president's budget contains $1 million to protect threatened coral reef ecosystems, Christensen noted.
“These funds will allow us to prevent the destruction of our coral reefs which are so important to maintaining a quality tourism program,” she said.

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