Sunday, January 30, 2011

Entertainment in St. Thomas VI

Michael Bolton rocked the Reichhold Center for the Arts in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands last night as part of his, One World One Love 2011 tour. Showing his range from classics like, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay", and "How am I Supposed to Live Without You" to Puccini's "Nessum Dorma" which brought tears to my eyes!

And, Yes, he is just a fine as ever.

The University of the Virgin Islands has a performing arts center and brings a wide variety of shows to the territory. It is an open air theater with some covered seats and others that are covered by the stars only. The center is named after Henry Reichhold CEO of Reichhold Chemical Inc. of Detroit Michigan, who initially contributed 3.5 Million in 1976-77 to the foundation. The center continues to operate through the Reichhold Foundation.

Next week a six day Film Festival starts, Chaka Kahn opened the season and J. Anthony Brown and Friends of the Virgin Islands performed their Comedy Tour a short while ago. Scheduled to appear are Hugh Masekela, Jimmy Cliff and Gramps Morgan, as well as the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Due to the intimate size of the theater, patrons and season ticket holders are sometimes treated to private receptions with the artists.

So besides the astounding beauty of the island, world class beaches, endless water sports, hot night spots, local entertainers; St. Thomas also offers world class entertainment in an amazing venue.

One of the highlights of the evening was when, as the band began playing, "When a Man Loves a Woman" the lights dipped and Michael disappeared from the stage. When the lights came back up he had moved to the space between the covered seats and the totally open air seats. The crowd went wild and we all rushed to take pictures. One of mine is on the right, above.

Just in case you were wondering what there is to do on a little island in the Caribbean besides relax. Now you know!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Property Taxes in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Buying and selling property in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a little different from buying on the mainland. Two important differences are in the areas of financing and taxes. For your initial financing you will have to work with a mortgage company or bank licensed to do business in the territory. It is a short list.

Taxes on commercial property in the U.S. Virgin Islands have been in dispute since 2000. When the governor unveiled a proposed property tax structure creating different property categories, each with different tax rates in 2007, residential property was pulled into the fray.

When closing on a property in the Territory, Buyers are credited an estimated amount for each year of outstanding taxes the Seller are not able to pay due to the lack of an official bill (the tax assessors office cannot accept payment for taxes not officially billed). The estimated taxes were usually based on the last valid tax bill which was issued in 2005 and based on 1998 valuations. In August of 2010, valid tax bills were issued for 2006 taxes and are also based on 1998 valuations. The responsibility to pay the taxes transferred to the new owners along with the property.

This has been off putting to some Buyers who now have reason to take heart! On January 22, 2011 Judge Gomez, Chief Judge of the District Court, lifted the freeze on property taxes in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The last area of dispute requiring resolution to move forward was a properly functioning Tax Review Board which had been seriously back logged. The back log has been cleared and an agreement was reached with the original complainants and the Board through mediation.

The 1998 values and tax rates shall continue for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 tax years. 2010's tax bill will be the first to be based on fair market value. Tax payers will receive two years of tax bills per year until the bills are current, placing the issuance of 2010 tax bill in 2012.

The infusion of revenue for the government should mean significant relief in budgetary issues and strengthen our economy.

If you have been delaying your dream of purchasing property in the Virgin Islands, because you were not comfortable with this situation, you can relax. Now is the time to buy real estate in St. Thomas, St. Croix or St. John. Prices are good.

Take a look at what is available by visiting to search the Multiple Listings, when you see something that interest you contact Van Blake Coleman Realty at 340-344-2959 or send me an e-mail at

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Little Piece of Paradise in St. Thomas, USVI

I just listed an efficiency condo in Sapphire Hill Village in St. Thomas. Imagine having this view from your living room, dining area and balcony. The marina is one of the most naturally protected marinas on island. Your yacht will be safe even in stormy weather. Sapphire Hill Village is a small community of condos with a restaurant and two pools all within a short walking distance from the beach, the marina and a waterfront resort. There are tennis courts and every imaginable water sport is available to you. I spent my first six months as a resident on St. Thomas renting a unit here. I loved it. The East end of the island is a great place to live. This is a quiet complex but it is close to shopping, a number of great restaurants, night clubs like, "Duffy's Love Shack" or the "Saint". The ferry to St. John or the BVI is just around the corner. So whether you are looking to move here forever or just vacation it is a perfect location. Check out more photos of condo on St. Thomas, US VI, check out current sales and featured listings, and many other listings. This unit is offered at $125,000 contact, Van Blake-Coleman Realty at 340 344 2959.