U.S. Virgin Islands

Economic Development Programs

U.S. Congress has authorized the U.S. Virgin Islands Government to grant tax benefits to encourage development. The U.S. Virgin Islands Government has worked closely with the Federal Government to develop a comprehensive legislative and regulatory scheme to encourage investment activity in the Territory.

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) is responsible for the promotion and enhancement of economic development in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Economic Development Commission (EDC), a division of the VIEDA, and Research & Technology Park (RT Park) programs, were created by the U.S. Virgin Islands Government to take advantage of U.S. Federal Legislation allowing the Territory to attract investment through reduced taxes on U.S. Virgin Islands-sourced income.

The EDC, in existence for over 50 years, and the more recent RT Park program, are designed to increase the U.S. Virgin Islands’ tax base thereby reducing the Territory’s reliance on Federal funding required to offset the Territory’s large fiscal deficit. There are approximately 100 companies currently operating under EDC or RT Park licenses. These programs offer various tax benefits between 10 and 30 years on U.S. Virgin Islands-source income with no repatriation tax to the States.

Telecommunications & Data Centers

The U.S. Virgin Islands is at a geographic crossroads for commerce in the Americas. High concentration bandwidth facilities in Florida at the southernmost tip of the continental United States make the U.S. Virgin Islands a fiber gateway to Europe, South America, and Asia (via the Panama Canal). With ever-increasing demand for connectivity around the world, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ geographic location and jurisdiction under U.S. Federal Law have made the Territory an ideal landing and switching site for Tier-1 subsea fiber systems for multinational carriers such as Level 3 and AT&T. Today the U.S. Virgin Islands has the largest concentration of bandwidth in the western hemisphere behind Long Island, NY.

Data centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands are designed to be fully operational during earthquakes and sustained category 5 hurricane winds. Leeward’s primary data center partner has two redundant groups of four 650 KVA power generation plants and 36 hours of independent battery backup. The building is a NSA high security facility equipped with CCTV monitoring and programmable proximity card entry systems. The location also has 550 Tons of 100% redundant critical humidity and temperature controlled HVAC systems and clean agent FM 200 fire suppression systems.

History of the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean located about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, along with many other surrounding minor islands. The territory's capital is Charlotte Amalie on the island of Saint Thomas. As of the 2010 census the population was 106,405 and tourism is the primary economic activity. Formerly the Danish West Indies, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. They are classified as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and are currently an organized, unincorporated United States Territory under the 1954 Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands.

Government

At the national level, the U.S. Virgin Islands elect a delegate to Congress from their at-large Congressional District. However, the elected delegate, while able to vote in committee, cannot participate in floor votes. The U.S. Virgin Islands have elected a Territorial Governor every four years since 1970 with previous Governors appointed by the President of the United States. The U.S. Virgin Islands have a District Court, Superior Court and a Supreme Court. The District Court is responsible for federal law, while the Superior Court is responsible for U.S. Virgin Islands law and the Supreme Court is responsible for appeals from the Superior Court. Appeals from the Federal District Court are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. District Court judges are appointed by the President of the United States, while Superior Court and Supreme Court judges are appointed by the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.