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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesEDC Local Hiring Rules Loosened

EDC Local Hiring Rules Loosened

Over the Christmas holidays, Gov. John deJongh Jr. signed into law a measure reducing the number of employees certain types of finance companies must have to receive tax breaks under the V.I. Economic Development Authority’s Industrial Development Program from 10 employees to five.

"I have approved this measure because it furthers the current posture of the Economic Development Authority and enables us to be responsive and competitive," deJongh said in a letter to the V.I. Legislature, dated Dec. 27.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone, is similar to, but more narrowly crafted than, two measures previously approved but vetoed by the governor (See related links below). The current version only exempts "financial companies that are not labor intensive," rather than all recipients of tax breaks. The bill’s language specifies that it applies to the program’s Category IIA businesses only.

Puerto Rico only requires four such employees, giving that territory an advantage in wooing companies, according to Malone. While each company would have fewer employees, there should be more companies with their owners paying income tax on what tends to be very high incomes, Malone argued when the bill was special ordered onto the agenda during a Senate session in November, bypassing the committee process, where the Senate approved the bill unanimously.

DeJongh also signed legislation authorizing Public Works to use $730,000 already in its budget to pay Precise Builders for thermoplastic road striping in the St. Thomas-St. John district that has already been completed; and a law approving James L. Hymes and Eula Castleberry-Hymes’ request to rezone Parcel No. 33-1 Estate Elizabeth, St. Thomas, granting an R-2 variance to allow them to operate a law office at that location.

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