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Veterans Can Bid on Taxi Medallions

Nov. 21, 2005 – For veterans of the U.S. military who enlisted in the Virgin Islands who would like to bid on a taxi medallion, the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department is holding an auction for veterans only in December, according to Licensing Commissioner Andrew Rutnik.
"There's two for each island," he said.
The St. Thomas auction will be held Dec. 14 at Licensing's office in the Property and Procurement Department building in Subbase.
The St. John Auction will be held at the Boulon Center in Cruz Bay.
On St. Croix, the auction will be held at the Licensing office at the Golden Rock shopping center.
All auctions begin at 11 a.m. Bid boxes will close at 10 a.m. on the day of the auction.
Rutnik said that the minimum bid is $20,000 for both St. Thomas and St. John and $8,000 for St. Croix.
He said that bidders must put down 10 percent of their bidding price if they are the successful bidder by 3 p.m. the day following the auction. It must be made in cash, money order or certified check payable to the Taxicab Division.
Full payment must be made within 10 days of the auction.
He said that if the successful bidder doesn't come up with the money, the medallion will be awarded to the next highest bidder.
The successful bidder may not transfer the medallion within three years of its purchase.
Rutnik didn't have his figures in front of him, but said that last year at a similar auction for veterans, St. John medallions went for around $25,000 and $26,000. On St. Thomas, the highest bidders bid about $27,000 and $28,000. On St. Croix, the highest bids came in at approximately $13,000.
Rutnik said that bidders should first take their applications to the Veterans Affairs Office for verification.
Applications can be picked up at the Taxicab Divisions offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix. They are located at the Licensing Department. On St. John, they can be picked up at the Licensing office at the Battery.
Rutnik said that a moratorium on medallion sales to people other than veterans remains in effect.
He said that thanks to a move by the Legislature, between 10 and 15 percent of the bid will go to the Veteran's Affairs Office to fund its activities. The rest stays with the Taxicab Division.
Rutnik said the Legislature left it up to Licensing and the Veterans Affairs Office to negotiate a percentage between 10 and 15 percent.
He said that St. Thomas has about 1,200 medallions, St. Croix, about 600, and St. John, approximately 600.

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