St. John Island Information
St. John is a tiny island, only 8 miles long, but it has remained a small island with big dreams because of over one-half is National Park lands. Fifty years ago, Laurence Rockefeller acquired and then donated thousands of acres to the U.S. National Park thus creating a unique sanctuary for both history and islanders to embrace and enjoy.
Valuable Information About St. John
Virgin Islands zoning, building & housing laws & regulations may be obtained from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, accounting section, 18 Kongens Gade, St. Thomas 00802, (340) 774-2991.
Building specifications can be obtained from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) (340) 774-3320 on St. Thomas and (340) 693-8735 on St. John.
The Virgin Islands has a unique program to encourage and retain business investment in the territory-the Economic Development Commission. Simply, the Virgin Islands are allowed to give certain tax breaks to businesses that comply with specific rules and guidelines. The EDC program grants long-term tax exemptions in exchange for investment in the territory.
Ask us for a brief summary of Eligible Businesses and Requirements for Granting Benefits and how your company can apply for 100% Exemption from the following taxes:
Real Property Taxes on real property used in business
Gross Receipts Taxes (tax on gross revenue)
Excise Tax on building materials, tools, etc used in construction, alteration, reconstruction or extension of business premises.
And Reduction of tax liability as follows:
90% on income taxes on qualified business income
1% Customs Duty on raw materials and component parts used in industrial and manufacturing processing.
The U. S. Government purchased St. John from Denmark in 1917. Naval governor ruled until 1931 when the U.S. Dept. of the Interior assumed control. We are an unincorporated territory. Residents of the Virgin Islands vote for a local Governor. We cannot vote for the President of the United States. However, we do receive all other benefits awarded the (mainland) United States.
Although not required, title insurance is available and recommended. Windstorm/Earthquake insurance is about 2%-3% of the replacement value for masonry/stone (wood frame may be higher).
St. John is located 1075 mi. E/SE of Miami, 50 mi. East of Puerto Rico, 3 mi. East of St. Thomas
St. John is 19 sq. miles – 9 miles long x 2 miles wide
Highest Elevation: Bordeaux Mountain 1,277’
Population 2000 census: St. John 4,200 +/- / St. Thomas – 51,181 +/-
Climate: Average rain fall – 43” Sept-Oct & May-June
Winter temperatures – 72 – 84 degrees
Summer temperatures – 80 – 90 degrees
U S Postal Service, DHL, UPS, Sprint Courier, Federal Express
St. John: Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic on St. John, 340-693-8900, plus several private physicians.
St. Thomas: Roy L. Schneider Hospital 340-776-8311,
Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute 340-775-5433
Mortgages are available through banks and lending institutions, including First Bank VI, Bank of Nova Scotia and Merrill Lynch. Most banks require the Buyer to pay for a title search, title insurance, property appraisal, surveyor’s certificate and report, as-built survey and bank attorney fees. Second home buyers can qualify for at least 70% loan to value mortgages and some sellers will offer owner financing. We will gladly prepare an amortization schedule for you.
In 1950 Mr. Lawrence Rockefeller purchased extensive holdings on St. John from the Danish West Indies Company, developed Caneel Bay Resort and donated remaining acreage to the U.S. Government as public park and Congress formed the VI National Park. The Virgin Islands National Park is 7200 acres of land plus 5650 acres of underwater holdings.
St. John: Guy Benjamin to 6th grade (public)
Julies Sprauve to 9th grade (public)
The St. John School on Gifft Hill-preschool-12th (private)
St. John School of the Arts
St. Thomas: 2 private schools & 7 religious affiliated schools
University of the Virgin Islands-175 acre campus offering both bachelor & master degree programs
This is the new VI Government formula for calculating the property taxes on various property types.:
Land: Unimproved non-commercial real property taxed at .004946
Homes: Residential real property, taxed at .003770 or 38%
Commercial: Commercial real property taxed at .007110 or 71%
Timeshares: Timeshares taxed at .014070 or 1.4%
An important source for valuation information on each parcel can be found at http://public.usvi.cavucorp.com You can arrive at an estimate for property tax using the valuation amount with the appropriate mill rate as stated above. Another website that shows property owners is http://www.mapgeo.com/usvi/. And https://propertytax.vi.gov/Lookup/TaxBillLookup.aspx
A tax credit of $400 is given to property owners that reside in the Homestead ($650 for Veterans and their spouses and $500 for property owners that are 60 or older).
Businesses pay 5% gross receipts tax ($9,000 monthly exemption) on gross money earned from all transactions including services to the VI Government.
All real estate transactions require documentary stamp (transfer stamp tax) on all real estate sales and this tax can be paid by the Buyer or Seller.
2% for property valued up to $350,000
5% for property valued from $350,001 to $1,000,000
3% for property valued from $1,000,001 to $5,000,000
5% for property valued over $5,000,001
Income taxes are the same as U.S. Federal taxes. There is no state or city taxes.
Internet connection through AOL, ATT Global, VI Access, WorldNet, CompuServe offering dial-up, hi-speed wireless & satellite services are available almost island-wide. There are numerous cyber cafes and the St. John Library offering internet access. Most cell phone companies provide service in most areas.
Electric is supplied by underwater cable from St. Thomas with a back-up generator on St. John.
Rain water is collected from the roof and stored in cisterns. Water is available for purchase from the desalination plant at a cost of about $365 for 4,200 gallons or 8.7 cents a gallon. Required cistern capacity is 10 gallons of cistern storage for every square foot of roof on single story home, 15 gallons for a 2-story home.