TAXI MEDALLIONS UP FOR BID — BY VETERANS ONLY

Nov. 25, 2001 – The Taxi Commission's Revolving Fund should get a boost of upwards of $86,000 in mid-December when veterans have a chance to bid on taxi medallions. Two each are up for grabs on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
The St. Thomas auction will be held on Dec. 17 at the Licensing and Consumer Affairs offices, located in the Property and Procurement building in Sub Base. The minimum bid is $15,000.
The St. Croix auction will be on Dec. 18 at the LCA offices at Golden Rock Shopping Center. The minimum is $8,000.
The St. John auction will be on Dec. 19 in the Territorial Court room at the Boulon Center. Bidding will start at $20,000.
All auctions will begin at 11 a.m.
Those wishing to take part in the auctions must apply to do so. Application forms are available at the DLCA offices. Applicants must be present at an auction in order to bid.
Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Andrew Rutnik said the differences in the minimum bids reflect the market value of a taxi medallion on the different islands.
"On St. John, the fair market value is around $40,000," Jacqueline Hodge-Leonard, assistant director of the V.I. Taxi Commission, said. Rutnik said the last time his agency had a veterans-only auction, in 1993, the minimum bid stood at $10,000. He had no information on minimum bids for the last regular auction.
From now on, only veterans will be able to bid on taxi medallions if the governor signs a bill recently passed by the 24th Legislature that imposes an indefinite moratorium on the issuing of medallions to anyone but veterans.
For the upcoming auctions, the winning bidders must post 10 percent of their bid by 3 p.m. the following day, in cash, money order or certified check. The balance of the bid must be paid within 10 days of the auction. If the sale does not go through, the deposit will be refunded.
The number of medallions currently issued total 1,198 on St. Thomas, 492 on St. Croix and 131 on St. John. However, Hodge-Leonard said that about 250 of them on St. Thomas, 102 on St. Croix and 50 on St. John are not in use. Rutnik urged the owners of those "sleeping" medallions to sell or lease them. "They have a lot of value to them," he said. "ou can lease them for a couple of hundred dollars a month."
Rutnik said the Taxi Commission has a long list of people wanting to buy medallions. He said the last moratorium on the their sale, imposed during the Schneider administration, is no longer in effect. All money generated by the Taxi Commission — the sale of medallions as well as license fees and penalties — goes to support the commission. Rutnik said six people work at the commission office on St. Thomas and two at the one on St. Croix.
For more information about the medallion sale, call 774-3130, ext. 263.

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