ST. THOMAS — Governor Kenneth Mapp on Wednesday signed five bills into law, among them key elements of the revised Revenue Enhancement and Economic Recovery Act, widely known as the sin tax bill.
Thy sin tax bill increase taxes on alcoholic beverages, other sugary carbonated beverages, cigarettes, and timeshare unit owners. While noting that the Legislature reduced the amounts to be levied, the governor, nevertheless, commended lawmakers for their courage and understanding of the need for additional revenues, according to Government House.
Mr. Mapp also approved Bill No. 32-0007, which establishes a minimum baseline property tax of $360.00 after application of exemptions and credits. The bill also defines “commercial real property” for purposes of assessment.
He vetoed a section of the bill, however, which would have denied economic development benefits or tax breaks to developers of timeshare properties which had previously been hotels or other multi-use facilities. He stated that the measure would destroy new timeshare development. Also vetoed was a section of the bill which sought to impose additional austerity measures on the executive branch, but which the governor believes would hamper the delivery of vital services and possibly violate the separation of powers doctrine.