Case Caption: Coral Management Group, LLC v. Government of the Virgin Islands, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2015-0071Date: 05/08/2017Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

In action challenging the imposition of a gross receipts taxes relating to oil reclamation activities due to tax exemption provisions in a concession agreement between an oil company and the Government of the Virgin Islands, the Superior Court lacked authority to requiring the plaintiff taxpayer to post a bond in order to obtain an injunction preventing the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue from collecting the gross receipts tax. There is jurisdiction over the present appeal because the ruling below requiring the taxpayer to post bond was an injunctive interlocutory order directed to a party, enforceable by contempt; and designed to accord or protect some or all of the substantive relief sought by a complaint in more than a temporary fashion, and it filed this appeal within 30 days of that order as required by 4 V.I.C. § 33(d)(5). The language of 33 V.I.C. § 45(b) plainly provides that once the taxpayer petitions the Superior Court for a stay of execution, that court shall advance such petition and shall hear such relevant evidence as the taxpayer and tax administration authority may produce to arrive at the amount the taxpayer should have paid to comply with the law. Once requested, the stay must be granted, and the Superior Court lacks discretion to deny the stay or impose conditions on the issuance of the stay. The Superior Court erred in conditioning the stay in the present action upon the posting of a bond. The July 9, 2015 order requiring the taxpayer to post $500,000 bond is vacated and the matter is remanded for the Superior Court to enforce the stay of execution and proceed to the merits as required by § 45(b).

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion