U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — During the weekly briefing on Monday, Government House Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. announced that the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance is distributing $10 million in Income Tax refunds.
Director Motta said the agencies are distributing 3,247 checks to residents that comprise refunds for tax years 2021 and prior for all properly filed taxes up to March 14, 2022.
According to the BIR:
- 2,025 checks totaling $5,093,845 are for tax year 2021.
- 581 checks totaling $2,318,483 are for tax year 2020.
- 372 checks totaling $1,080,465 are for tax year 2019.
- 269 checks totaling $707,205 are for tax years 2018 and previous years
Director Motta also said the BIR has launched its online excise tax portal.
.“This is part of the bureau’s larger effort to streamline excise tax operations and to bring online services, mainly the effort to move toward online income tax filing,” Director Motta said.
The new excise tax portal is available at bir.vi.gov.
JFL patient transfer
Juan F. Luis Hospital has completed its transfer of patients to the new JFL North facility.
Director Motta said the hospital has made significant progress regarding the 100 percent draw that will enable the old hospital to be demolished. He said that process is expected to finish around the end of 2023, with construction of the new hospital following that.
Port Hamilton Refinery clean-up
V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency Director Daryl Jaschen also appeared during the weekly briefing to provide an update on the plans for removing hazardous chemicals from the Port Hamilton Refinery as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Director Jaschen said EPA-approved contractors will be deinventorying three hazardous chemicals –
253,000 gallons of rich amine solution, 8,500 gallons of concentrated ammonia and 10,500 gallons of liquid petroleum gas – which will be sent off-island via cargo ships. The director said the chemicals will be transported to the ships without using public roads, and the clean-up is an EPA requirement for Port Hamilton to get approval to restart refiner operations.
According to Director Jaschen, the completion of the chemical removal is expected to be done in late June or early July.
The EPA has established a website that provides live information from 14 air monitors that are in operation 24/7 along the fenceline around the refinery and in nearby neighborhoods. To track the removal process, go to phrt-epa.hub.arcgis.com. The EPA also has established a hotline for residents to report any suspicious odors during the removal process at 1-866-462-4789.
The website is available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole, and the monitoring stations are tracking any releases of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Administrative leave for Carnival
Director Motta also reiterated the administrative leave for non-essential employees that Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has approved for Carnival events this week.
- Government employees in the St. Thomas-St. John District only are off from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, for the Food Fair.
- Also in the St. Thomas-St. John District only, government employees are off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, for J’ouvert.
- Government employees Territory-wide are off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 28, for the Children Parade.
The administrative leave does not apply to essential employees and employees on a regular or rotating shift, and employees on annual or sick leave immediately preceding or immediately following the time period administrative leave is granted will not receive administrative leave.
Future leave will not be substituted for employees who are considered essential and/or whose shift happens to fall on a day in which other employees are granted administrative leave.
COVID-19 cases as of April 24
• Currently tracking 6 active cases (1 STX; 5 STT; 0 STJ)
• There is one COVID-19 patient hospitalized at Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
• There are no COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.
The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov