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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 2, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesLEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS ON THE BOND ISSUE

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS ON THE BOND ISSUE

Now that the governor has been given the authority to issue bonds up to $300 million when his original request was $130 million to meet "the November and December payrolls, payments to vendors and tax refunds," to be paid by the end of this calendar year, the League of Women Voters wonders what will be the next move of the administration? Will the governor fulfill his request totaling $180 Million, or will he seek to burden the taxpayers of the Virgin Islands with the additional $120 million in bonds and the additional debt service which has been authorized by the Legislature?
If the governor chooses to do the latter, how will he spend the difference? The Legislature, in its wisdom, authorized $180 million, $134 million of which is to be used to pay income tax refunds and the other $46 million to be earmarked for vendor payments. In addition, the Legislature authorized $15 million to be used for a retirement incentive plan, and up to $79 million of working capital to refinance the 1999 payroll loan and to fund "certain obligations of the government," necessary reserves, and to pay for the cost of issuance. The sizable difference between the figures of the executive branch and those of the Legislature are confusing to the league and probably to the general public, as well.
The reported concerns of the legislature's post auditor on the overall shortfall of $135 million in revenue estimates from the Fiscal Year 2000 Executive Budget emphasize the immediate needs for a more comprehensive and collaborative effort to remedy the financial ills of this territory.
The League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands, once again, expects both the Legislative and executive branches of government to review thoroughly the recommendations of the post auditor and then to determine the best possible solutions, short, medium and long term.
Further, the league urges the governor, his financial advisors and the Legislature to consider other solutions for implementation before increasing the debt burden of this and future generations of Virgin Islanders.

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