The stamp duty waiver for property purchase was first announced in May 2020, by Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who had said government recognised the need to ease some of the financial burdens of residents who would be in a position to purchase property during this COVID-19 era in a manner that encourages the properties to remain in local hands.
The amendment to the schedule of the Stamp Duty Act was agreed on to allow for the waiver of stamp duty fees payable on the sale or transfer of property by a Belonger or non-Belonger to a Belonger, no matter the amount.
On May 12, 2020, had said the waiver initiative will run until May 31, 2021.
However, while speaking at his Annual First District Report at Cappoon’s Bay Recreation Ground on Saturday, January 30, 2021, Hon Fahie said there will be an extension to the stamp duty waiver due to the high interest by young people to capitalise on the initiative.
“Your Government will also be extending the stamp duty waiver for the purchase of property by Belongers due to high demand from our youth who have expressed such interest during our many public meetings,” Premier Fahie stated.
The Leader of Government Business did not give a new date that the waiver initiative will now be in effect; however, he noted that the people of the Virgin Islands “must be able to own their own homes and this will help this dream become a reality.”
Meanwhile, Premier Fahie had previously stated that Belongers who receive a stamp duty waiver and resell the property to a non-local before seven years will be required to repay the fees that were waived.
“If the property is sold or transferred to a non-Belonger within a period of seven years, the sum that is waived at the point of the original sale to the Belonger shall be recouped by the government from the Belonger,” Hon Fahie had said on May 12, 2020, adding that “Cabinet also decide that if the property is resold or transferred to another Belonger for the period up to 31st May 2021, the waiver of the stamp duty remains applicable.”
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