Answer Desk: Spotlight on STARS Act

Source reader Jared Warren wants information about the STARS Act, a law that provides tax incentives for show biz types who primarily work in the Virgin Islands.

The Legislature passed Bill Number 29-0146 on Feb. 9 and Gov. John deJongh Jr. signed it into law March 7 as Act 7344.

Residents as well as others are eligible as long as they’re licensed in the Virgin Islands. Like all laws, this one is rife with legalese. Its 20 pages have slews of chapters, subchapters and subsubchapters; however, the bottom line is that if applicants meet all the guidelines, they’ll get 100 percent exemption on gross receipts tax, 90 percent exemption on corporate taxes and a 90 percent exemption on personal income tax.

The guidelines require that audio projects have at least 50 percent of the audio recorded locally. The same goes for film projects. And you’ve got to agree in writing to make a good effort to hire locally.

Since the law is newly minted, the Economic Development Authority is still writing the rules and regulations. However, EDA attorney Stacey Plaskett said she expects they’ll be ready for the board’s perusal in 30 days. Meanwhile, she said the agency has a temporary application so those interested can apply.

According to Plaskett, the first stop is the Tourism Department, where its Film Office says yes or no to the application before sending it on to EDA. Tourism spokesman Allegra Kean-Moorehead said the department is still ironing out the details but interested applicants should contact Luana Wheatley at [email protected] or 774-8784.

Warren asked where to find the law. Locating this act and all other bills considered by the Legislature is easy as pie. Go to www.legvi.org. In the banner at the top, click on bill tracking.

This takes you to a page where you select 29 (that how many legislatures voters have elected so far) in the first drop down screen. Type in the 0146 where it asks for bill number or 7344 where it request act number and hit search.

On the next page, click on view detail. You’ll get a page that details the history of the bill. Over on the right side of the page, click on 29-0146 or 7344 to see the bill.

To reach Tourism, call 774-8784. Reach the EDA at 714-1700.

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