48 U.S. Code § 1574 - Legislative powers and activities
The legislative authority and power of the Virgin Islands shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with this chapter or the laws of the United States made applicable to the Virgin Islands, but no law shall be enacted which would impair rights existing or arising by virtue of any treaty or international agreement entered into by the United States, nor shall the lands or other property of nonresidents be taxed at a higher rate than the lands or other property of residents.
The laws of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands on July 22, 1954, including laws made applicable to the Virgin Islands by or pursuant to the provisions of the Act of June 22, 1936 (49 Stat. 1807), and all local laws and ordinances in force in the Virgin Islands, or any part thereof, on July 22, 1954 shall, to the extent they are not inconsistent with this chapter, continue in force and effect until otherwise provided by the Congress: Provided, That the legislature shall have power, when within its jurisdiction and not inconsistent with the other provisions of this chapter, to amend, alter, modify, or repeal any local law or ordinance, public or private, civil or criminal, continued in force and effect by this chapter, except as herein otherwise provided, and to enact new laws not inconsistent with any law of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands, subject to the power of Congress to annul any such Act of the legislature.
 See References in Text note below.
Section 103, referred to in subsec. (b)(iii)(A), which related to interest on certain governmental obligations was amended generally by Pub. L. 99–514, title XIII, § 1301(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2602, and as so amended relates to interest on State and local bonds. Section 103(b)(2), which prior to the general amendment defined industrial development bond, relates to the applicability of the interest exclusion to arbitrage bonds.
Act of June 22, 1936 (49 Stat. 1807), referred to in subsec. (c), is act June 22, 1936, ch. 699, 49 Stat. 1807, as amended, known as the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands of the United States, which is classified generally to subchapter II (§ 1405 et seq.) of chapter 7 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1406m of this title and Tables.
1999—Subsec. (b)(ii)(A). Pub. L. 106–84, § 1(a), inserted “, including but not limited to notes in anticipation of the collection of taxes or revenues,” after “other evidence of indebtedness”, substituted “for any public purpose authorized by the legislature: Provided, That no such” for “to construct, improve, extend, better, repair, reconstruct, acquire, and equip hospitals, schools, libraries, gymnasia, athletic fields, sewers, sewage-disposal plants, and water systems: Provided, That no public”, and struck out “and payable semiannually. All such bonds shall be sold for not less than the principal amount thereof plus accrued interest” after “specified by the legislature”.
Subsec. (b)(ii)(B), (C). Pub. L. 106–84, § 1(b)(1), (2), redesignated subpar. (C) as (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: “The proceeds of the bond issues or other obligations herein authorized shall be expended only for the public improvements set forth in the preceding subparagraph, or for the reduction of the debt created by such bond issue or obligation, unless otherwise authorized by the Congress.”
1986—Subsec. (b)(iii)(E). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”, which for purposes of codification was translated as “title 26” thus requiring no change in text.
1984—Subsec. (b)(i), (iii). Pub. L. 98–454 struck out “shall be sold at public sale and” before “may be redeemable” in fourth sentence of par. (i) and added par. (iii).
1982—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–357 struck out subsec. (d) which authorized the President of the United States to appoint a commission of seven persons, at least three of whom were residents of the Virgin Islands, to survey the field of Federal statutes and to make recommendations to Congress within twelve months after July 22, 1954, as to which statutes of the United States not applicable to the Virgin Islands on that date should be made applicable to the Virgin Islands and which statutes of the United States applicable to the Virgin Islands on that date should be declared inapplicable, and provided compensation of this commission.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–357 struck out subsec. (e) which related to arrangements by the Secretary of the Interior for the preparation of a code of laws of the Virgin Islands.
1977—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 95–134 added subsec. (f).
1968—Subsec. (b)(i). Pub. L. 90–496 struck out the provisions that the total amount of revenue bonds which may be issued and outstanding for all improvements and undertakings at any one time shall not be in excess of $30,000,000, exclusive of all bonds and undertakings held by the United States as a result of a sale of real or personal property to the government of the Virgin Islands, and with not more than $10,000,000 of such bonds or obligations to be outstanding at any one time for public improvements or public undertakings other than water or power projects, and substituted provisions that the bonds so issued shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed that specified by the legislature, payable semiannually, for provisions that the bonds so issued shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed 5% per annum, payable semiannually, and that all such bonds shall be sold for not less than the principal amount thereof plus accrued interest.
1966—Subsec. (b)(i). Pub. L. 89–643 increased the borrowing authority of the Virgin Islands by striking out limiting provisions so as to require only that the object of a bond issue be a public improvement or undertaking authorized by the legislature as opposed to previous requirement of a legislative authorization for specific improvements and legislative findings of need, substituted provisions authorizing the issuance of bonds that are nonredeemable or redeemable (either with or without premium) for provisions requiring that bonds be redeemable after five years without premium, raised the limitation on total amount of outstanding bonds from a flat limitation of $10,000,000 to $30,000,000 exclusive of all bonds or obligations which are held by the Government of the United States as a result of a sale of real or personal property to the government of the Virgin Islands, and inserted requirement that not to exceed $10,000,000 of the bonds or obligations may be outstanding at any one time for public improvement or public undertakings other than water or power projects.
1963—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 88–180 redesignated existing provisions as par. (i), struck out “The legislature shall have no power to incur any indebtedness which may be a general obligation of said government”, and added par. (ii).
1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–851, § 2, substituted “rightful subjects of legislation” for “subjects of local application”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 85–851, § 10, authorized issuance of bonds for establishment, construction, operation, maintenance, reconstruction, improvement, or enlargement of other projects and payment of the bonds from revenues derived from the projects.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 85–851, § 3, struck out “and any supplements to it” after “Upon the enactment of the Virgin Islands Code it”.
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