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HomeNewsArchivesREPUBLICANS FILE SUIT FOR TAX CREDIT PAYMENTS

REPUBLICANS FILE SUIT FOR TAX CREDIT PAYMENTS

Sept. 5, 2001 – Two members of the territory’s Republican Party filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court on Wednesday seeking to force the V.I. government to issue local taxpayers income-tax credit checks just as the federal government has done on the mainland.
Since the territory’s tax code mirrors that of the federal government, taxpayers here are due the same credit on their 2001 income tax as their mainland counterparts, said Michael Bornn, who co-chairs the Republican Party’s Bush-Cheney Leadership Policy Committee.
The money is due year 2000 taxpayers under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, signed into law on June 7 by President George W. Bush. The law lowered the tax rate.
"The credit is for overpayments from the first half of the year," explained the Republicans' attorney, Chad C. Messier of Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig.
The maximum credits possible are $300 for single taxpayers, $500 for heads of household, and $600 for couples filing taxes jointly. Actual payment depends on income as reflected in 2000 tax returns.
The credit was intended as a stimulus to boost the mainland’s sagging
economy. The U.S. Treasury has begun sending out checks, and all payments are to be made by Dec. 31.
The director of the Internal Revenue Bureau has indicated that the IRB does not intend to send out such payments but instead will let taxpayers deduct the amount due them from their 2001 tax liability in their tax returns that will come due next April 15. IRB director Louis Willis has said the government doesn't have the money or the time to issue the credits.
According to Bornn, the IRB proposal is contrary to the law. The two Republicans who filed the suit are former Sen. Anne Golden, a St. Croix resident, and Leo D. Goubourn, who lives in St. Thomas. Neither they nor Willis could be reached for comment.
The suit was filed against Willis, the V.I. government, the Internal Revenue Bureau, and Gov. Charles W. Turnbull. Messier said he intends to ask District Judge Thomas K. Moore for a temporary injunction next week to prevent the government from ignoring the federal mandate.

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