Virgin Islands Law Blog

Virgin Islands Law Blog

U.S. Virgin Islands law & politics

Category Archives: Government Relations

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Determining Eligibility for EDC Tax Incentives in the US Virgin Islands

Posted in Government Relations, Tax & Estate Planning
Are you wondering whether you qualify to receive benefits from the Economic Development Commission in the U.S. Virgin Islands? To be considered eligible for benefits, applicants must meet the following requirements: Invest a minimum of $100,000 outside of their inventory in a business or industry that is determined to advance the best interest of the… Continue Reading

US Virgin Islands Offers Tax Incentives for Relocating Companies

Posted in Government Relations
The U.S. Virgin Islands receives a great deal of publicity for the vitality of its tourism industry, and rightfully so—there are so many beautiful beaches, plenty of sunshine and some fascinating historical sites to check out. However, the Territory also offers some attractive incentives for businesses that relocate here. The Economic Development Authority and the… Continue Reading

Governor Signs Sin Tax Measure, Additional Bills into Law

Posted in Government Relations
U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp recently signed five new bills into law, one of which is the revised Revenue Enhancement and Recovery Act. It’s popularly known as the “sin tax bill.” The bill increases the taxes levied on alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, timeshares and sugary carbonated beverages throughout the territory. While the total amount of… Continue Reading

USVI Begins Overtime Pay Cuts for Public Workers

Posted in Government Relations
To help mitigate the potential financial crisis facing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Governor Kenneth E. Mapp recently ordered dramatic cuts in overtime work hours as he reviews ways to keep the Territory’s government operational. The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) became one of the first public agencies to drastically reduce its overtime work hours in… Continue Reading

Governor Vetoes Bill Eliminating Customs Duties in U.S. Virgin Islands

Posted in Government Relations
U.S. Virgin Islands Governor  Kenneth Mapp recently vetoed legislation that would have eliminated customs duties, while at the same time transferring money that would have been collected through a different provision in the proposed bill. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kurt Vialet, would have mandated the Bureau of Internal Revenue to create and present a… Continue Reading

With Puzder Out, Trump Turns to Acosta for Labor Secretary

Posted in Government Relations, Labor & Employment
Andrew F. Puzder, who rose to prominence as a fast food executive, recently withdrew from consideration to be President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor. Puzder had been the subject of a great deal of debate and scorn since his announcement in December, particularly among progressive groups and labor unions. After records of spousal abuse from… Continue Reading

What the Incoming Commerce Secretary Could Mean for Business

Posted in Government Relations
President Donald Trump recently nominated Wilbur Ross to serve as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. With Ross’ confirmation by the Senate on February 27, 2017, economists are already looking at what the appointment will mean for businesses across the country—including here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most of the discussions that took place during the congressional… Continue Reading

The Economic Impact of President Trump’s Proposed Tax Plan on the US Virgin Islands

Posted in Government Relations, Tax & Estate Planning
During his campaign, President Donald Trump put forth a tax plan that would cap itemized deductions, barring single people from deducting more than $100,000 and preventing couples from deducting more than $200,000. This proposal would help raise more than $1 trillion over the course of a decade. However, according to the Tax Policy Center, the… Continue Reading

Legislators Look at ‘Sin Taxes’ to Address USVI Financial Situation

Posted in Government Relations
Members of the U.S. Virgin Islands Senate recently met to discuss a variety of issues, including the financial affairs of the Government of the Virgin Islands. Of particular interest were the opinions of senators on Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s proposed “sin taxes” for the territory. These taxes would include new levies on cigarettes, alcohol, carbonated sugar… Continue Reading

Defend Trade Secrets Act Offers Federal Protection to Trade Secrets

Posted in Corporate & Financial Services, Government Relations
Trade secrets are a valuable type of intellectual property—and they’re now subject to a number of federal protections similar to patents, copyrights and trademarks. This development is thanks to the new Defend Trade Secrets Act, which was written and approved to help strengthen the protection of trade secrets in the United States and its territories.… Continue Reading

With New Federal Rule, Many More Americans Now Eligible for Overtime Pay

Posted in Government Relations, Labor & Employment
Last summer, President Barack Obama announced plans to raise the overtime salary threshold, a move that promised to make millions more Americans eligible for overtime pay. Those plans went into effect last month, when the White House revealed the details of the new overtime threshold rules the President had set forth. The measure is the… Continue Reading

Gov. Mapp Outlines Economic Development Initiatives for U.S. Virgin Islands

Posted in Community Affairs, Government Relations
U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp recently held a press conference at Government House, where he discussed a number of economic development initiatives. Tourism has long been the single-largest driver of the economy in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the industry has fully recovered since the Great Recession. Mapp emphasized the importance of the… Continue Reading

How the ‘One Person-One Vote’ Supreme Court Ruling Will Affect Virgin Isalnds Senate Elections

Posted in Community Affairs, Government Relations
Back in April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that states were allowed to count all of its residents—and not just those eligible to vote—when drawing their elective districts. The decision was a significant statement on the principle of “one person, one vote,” and marked the first time the Supreme Court had ever ruled on… Continue Reading

EEOC’s Proposed Enforcement Guidance Reflects Agency’s Changing Views

Posted in Government Relations, Labor & Employment
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a new Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. This proposed guidance specifically includes attempts to expand the scope of the participation clause and the definition of protected opposition conduct. These proposals represent a shifting viewpoint on the part of the federal agency. Let’s take… Continue Reading

Governor Gives State of the Territory Address

Posted in Government Relations
In his first State of the Territory Address, Governor Kenneth A. Mapp didn’t shy away from speaking to the Legislature and citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands with candor, especially when it came to the fiscal situation of the Territory. At the start of 2015, the Government of the Virgin Islands has a budget shortfall… Continue Reading