(V. I. Consortium) ST. CROIX — Senator Kurt Vialet on Thursday told The Consortium that negotiations were ongoing between the the Government of the Virgin Islands and the territory’s two rum companies, for the government to keep all of the $18.2 million in adjusted rum excise tax payments remitted to the G.V.I. late last month by the U.S. Department of Interior.
If Diageo USVI and Cruzan Rum — the companies receive a generous percentage of the tax revenues — agree to allow the government to collect the entire $18.2 million, the monies would serve as an added lifeline to the government, whose finances remain precarious, as it grapples with a structural deficit of over $100 million.
Asked about bondholders receiving some of the funds, Mr. Vialet said that the government had already met its debt obligation to its creditors with the over $200 million in rum cover-over funds the government received for fiscal year 2016.