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Community Development

Revitalizing Distressed Communities

The Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC) was created to revitalize blighted and distressed communities that once were socially and economically vibrant. It offers tax incentives and economic development benefits free from regulatory barriers which inhibit economic growth, and also encourages collaboration among public, private and non-profit entities in order to accomplish the desired objectives. The designated zones are the communities of Savanne-Downstreet and Garden Street-Up Street on St. Thomas, and the towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted, and the South Shore Trade Zone on St. Croix.

Learn more below

Strategic Objectives

Uplift the people of the Virgin Islands.

  • Implementing succession plan - continuing to train & providing more community facing opportunities for team.
  • Revive EntrepreNow to meet current needs.
  • Reformulating Estate Planning programming.
  • Accelerate VI entrepreneurs.

Create systems to be more effective.

  • Create a self evaluating system to determine status against benchmarks.
  • Revamp Rules & Regs for transparency.
  • Improve application & compliance process to make it easier for seniors.
  • Utilize GIS to illustrate community impact.

Revitalize structures for community development.

  • Focus grant search on capital projects.
  • Efficiently schedule master contractors to complete work in the zones.
  • Start construction on each anchor project.
  • Expend all construction funds on low hanging projects for those in most need.

Pivot for communities emerging needs.

  • Strengthen ties with partners that can collaborate on solutions when the need arises.
  • Publish reviewed plan as current road map.
  • Increase engagement with Stakeholders.
  • Reformulate survey program in the zones.
an old stone building with a red roof next to a body of water
person holding pencil near laptop computer

Eligibility and Application Process

In order to be eligible for Enterprise Zone benefits you must own property or have a lease of property within the perimeters of the zone, as per the maps provided, and you must also:

  • Be a business holding a valid business license or a owner occupied residence
  • Invest at least $10,000 in a rehabilitation / construction of the building
  • Be a resident of the VI
  • Be the actual investor in the Enterprise Zone
  • Meet the standards of ecological compatibility
  • Employ at least two (2) residents of the VI
  • Comply with all federal and territorial laws including providing a letter of approval from HPC (Historic Preservation Commission)
  • Agree in writing to abide by Title 29 VIC sections 1011(1)(2) & 1013(1)-(3)
  1. The applicant submits a complete application to the Enterprise Zone Commission with the required documents as indicated in the application.
  2. The application is reviewed (an analyst may call for additional information to complete the application).
  3. The Enterprise Zone Commission determines granting of benefits and a letter is sent to the applicant notifying him/her of the decision.

Enterprise Zone Incentives

  • A Nonrefundable gross receipts or income tax credit equal to 25% of the actual value expended within the fiscal year for construction or rehabilitation of a building within the zone.
  • A nonrefundable gross receipts or income tax credit equal to 10%of the expenditures within a fiscal year for investment in machinery and equipment for the beneficiary business.
  • A gross receipt tax rate of 3% for gross receipts derived from the EZ business.
  • A one-time nonrefundable $500 income tax credit for every job created with for USVI residents.
  • A property tax credit against taxes imposed equal to the increase in property taxes assessed due to renovation, rehabilitation or construction of property within the zones
  • Income tax exemption of 90%
  • Exemption from gross receipts of 100%
  • Exemption from property taxes of 100%
  • A non-refundable gross receipts tax credit or an income tax credit equal to 10% of the actual value expended within a fiscal year for construction/rehabilitation of a building or other real property.
  • Additional percentages may be stacked, but may not exceed 35%. (Off Street Parking 5-15%, Entertainment 5%, New Residential 10%, Retail carrying predominantly cultural or locally made products 10%).
  • A gross receipts tax rate of 3% for gross receipts derived by the Commercial Zone business.
  • A property tax credit against taxes imposed equal to the increase in property taxes assessed due to renovation, rehabilitation or construction property within the zones.
  • Income tax exemption of 90%
  • Exemption from customs duties
  • Exemption from excise taxes
  • Exemption from gross receipts taxes
  • Exemption from property tax
calculator, calculation, insurance

Enterprise Zone Locations

  • Christiansted enterprise Zone
  • Frederiksted enterprise Zone
  • Savanne/Downstreet enterprise Zone
  • Garden Street/Upstreet enterprise Zone
  • South Shore Trade Zone
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