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Alaska
(@Alaska)
Active Member

I'm in the very early stages of relocating to your part of the world... 🙂 Probably several years out before we could get our ducks in a row but thought I'd post up and ask a few questions. The wife and I have lived and worked in Alaska for 20 or so years. We moved down to Oregon last winter and I'm still working in Alaska while she is going to school for a medical assistant degree. She has about a year left and my work allows me to live most anyplace as I fly back and forth and work shift work. Generally 4 weeks on 4 off but I can adjust that to fit my needs. Anyway..... I'm an inspector on the trans Alaska pipeline. CWI and API tank inspections mostly. So I'm hopping I might have some luck finding work at the refinery on St Croix. I have a pretty strong resume anyway so that's my hope... My wife hopes to find work at the hospital as a medical assistant. That is the basis of our dream now and something we are working/hopping for.

I have read about island life on here and think we should be able to handle it well. We lived for a time in Alaska on a lake with no road to our house. Spent lots of time in a boat and enjoyed the remoteness of it . Fairbanks Alaska has a higher cost of living too so we are used to that. Just looking to trade the snow machine for a sail boat!

Wondering about housing... We could get by fine in a small condo type place but we currently have two dogs were very attached to. Large dogs too. Golden retriever and a German Shepard. Really not sure if it's even possible to find a place we could have them at while were getting used to things and seeing how permanent we can or what to make this.

Anyway... Sorry for rambling... Cold and board sitting in Prudhoe bay AK at 15F...

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Topic starter Posted : November 6, 2010 2:23 am
Sauceress
(@Sauceress)
Advanced Member

Welcome to the board. You will find a wealth of information from the people here. Meanwhile just do searches for some of the topics in which you have an interest.
Deidre

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Posted : November 6, 2010 3:01 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Housing with 2 large dogs will mean you will need to rent a house, cottage or apt attached to house (very very common here) that allows dogs. It's not as hard as it used to be, but there are still more that do not take dogs then do. You should be prepared to possibly pay more in rent here for that. As a landlord I love people with dogs because it's extra security and hopefully someone to trade pet sitting for each on vacations. So it's completely doable, just harder, but with 2 large dogs you're not going to find a condo that will take you.

Also you really want a house that has a fenced in yard for your dogs. I'm sure yours are well behaved but there are many wild dogs on island and most of them have pit or rotty in them. Its for the safety of your pets. Before we bought we put in a fence at every rental we stayed at.

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Posted : November 6, 2010 12:35 pm
Alaska
(@Alaska)
Active Member

Yea I see the dogs as being our biggest issue. It's still a ways out but there our children and I can't see doing this without them. Big lovable lap dogs who go everywhere with us. Are any of the beaches dog friendly places?

Were a few years from making this happen so I think we need a few scouting trips. Perhaps a small condo is in our near future until we can make it more permanent. I have been looking at condos for sale. Is it very practical to think I could buy one and rent it when I wasn't using it? I'm sure there are property management places to handle this kind of thing but I'm wondering about the economics of it...

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Topic starter Posted : November 6, 2010 10:10 pm
Island Expatriot
(@Island_Expatriot)
Active Member

If you work at the refinery, see if you would qualify to live in their housing. It is perhaps the only place in the VI that is even remotely safe. You'll find the islands a big adjustment from what you're used to as everything/on is crushed together by comparison. At least on STX you have a bit more room. Why not move to Somalia or somewhere else safer?

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Posted : November 7, 2010 12:42 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

Good afternoon, Island Expatriot

Please don't misconstrue my question to you: Do you live on one of the USVI?

Why?

Swan

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Posted : November 7, 2010 3:12 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

island expatriot, why do you say that refinary housing is the only safe place to live on island?? granted our murder rate is probably the highest per capita and robberies are going crazy, but i live in town and feel safe. i do take precautions like everyone else, like you would do everywhere you live stateside too.
wow you must not like living here very much.

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Posted : November 8, 2010 10:48 am
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

Hovensa hires many people from off-island, especially if you have credentials and experience, so if you live here on St. Croix, you may find a job there. I've met guys who come from Hungary and other places for a few months at a time to work there.

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Posted : November 8, 2010 11:25 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

If you work at the refinery, see if you would qualify to live in their housing. It is perhaps the only place in the VI that is even remotely safe. You'll find the islands a big adjustment from what you're used to as everything/on is crushed together by comparison. At least on STX you have a bit more room. Why not move to Somalia or somewhere else safer?

All I can say about Expatriot is I'm glad they were able to escape. The rest of us are trapped here and fear for our lives everyday.

ALASKA, you'll get a lot of good advice on this board so keep reading.
One thing that pops into mind: how comfortable will you be in warm/tropical weather?
Most people's bodies adjust to the warm temps here (unless they work in air conditioning).
Some people struggle with it.
If you were living in Alaska partly because you "like the cold" ...you'll really miss it down here.
It was 75 and rainy last night --which was so cold here I had to put on socks and sit with a blanket.

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Posted : November 8, 2010 4:10 pm
Alaska
(@Alaska)
Active Member

Thanks for the feed back guys... Crime is something of a concern but I'm not totally put off by it. I can see where being new and stumbling into the wrong place at the wrong time could be bad though. My current situation is actually living in Oregon and working in Alaska although we lived up there for almost 20 years. I might very well find myself wanting to commute from Alaska to St Croix an about a 4 week on 4 week off cycle for awhile at first. I'm wondering what it takes to become a legal resident of the island? I currently pay a healthy Oregon income tax and would like to avoid that if I could. Are there residents with off island work?

Only thing that bothers me about that is leaving my wife there alone for four weeks at a time. 🙂 Cute red head all alone in paradise and all... 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : November 10, 2010 4:09 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I might very well find myself wanting to commute from Alaska to St Croix an about a 4 week on 4 week off cycle for awhile at first. I'm wondering what it takes to become a legal resident of the island? I currently pay a healthy Oregon income tax and would like to avoid that if I could. Are there residents with off island work?

I think this is roughly correct: Your "source income" is taxed wherever you physically perform the work, regardless of where the money came from. If you perform the work in Oregon, then you pay state income taxes to Oregon. If you perform the work in the USVI, then you can skip the Oregon income tax. This applies regardless of your state of legal residence.

Also, you are a "Bona Fide USVI Resident" if you live in the USVI for at least 183 days of the year (or not. I forget). That status determines whether you file and pay your federal 1040 income tax with the Feds or with the USVI.

If you are self-employed or a business owner in the USVI, then you also have the 4% Gross Receipts Tax to deal with, and depending on your business, you may effectively pay it coming and going (so, 8%). By comparison, Oregon's state income tax rate is 5% – 11%. But it's not a direct comparison, since USVI businesses tend to add it to their prices, like a built-in sales tax.

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Posted : November 10, 2010 9:39 pm
Alaska
(@Alaska)
Active Member

I might very well find myself wanting to commute from Alaska to St Croix an about a 4 week on 4 week off cycle for awhile at first. I'm wondering what it takes to become a legal resident of the island? I currently pay a healthy Oregon income tax and would like to avoid that if I could. Are there residents with off island work?

I think this is roughly correct: Your "source income" is taxed wherever you physically perform the work, regardless of where the money came from. If you perform the work in Oregon, then you pay state income taxes to Oregon. If you perform the work in the USVI, then you can skip the Oregon income tax. This applies regardless of your state of legal residence.

Also, you are a "Bona Fide USVI Resident" if you live in the USVI for at least 183 days of the year (or not. I forget). That status determines whether you file and pay your federal 1040 income tax with the Feds or with the USVI.

If you are self-employed or a business owner in the USVI, then you also have the 4% Gross Receipts Tax to deal with, and depending on your business, you may effectively pay it coming and going (so, 8%). By comparison, Oregon's state income tax rate is 5% – 11%. But it's not a direct comparison, since USVI businesses tend to add it to their prices, like a built-in sales tax.

Thanks for the info. Whats your source? I moved to Oregon last January and have been paying Or income tax all year. If I can find a way out of that that OR will buy off on I'll get a substantual return. Alaska has no state income tax so that shouldn't be an issue once I leave OR.

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Topic starter Posted : November 10, 2010 11:25 pm
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

I spent some time in Alaska before I moved to St. John....seasonal work in Denali. My brother has lived there for years, currently in Wasilla. Something that I noticed about the transplant locals on St. John is that they are very similar to the kind of people I met in Alaska. Same kind of vibe. Does that make sense??? When my brother and his family visit, they seem to fit right in. They do think it's hot, but you get used to the climate in time. Just thought I'd throw in my 2¢ 😀

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Posted : November 11, 2010 3:00 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Thanks for the info. Whats your source?

The sources for the tax info are accountants, IRS tax code, VI tax code, and members of this moving board. If you search the board, you'll find prior discussions. If there's a specific point that you want a source for, I'll try to find it.

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Posted : November 11, 2010 11:19 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I spent some time in Alaska before I moved to St. John....seasonal work in Denali. My brother has lived there for years, currently in Wasilla. Something that I noticed about the transplant locals on St. John is that they are very similar to the kind of people I met in Alaska. Same kind of vibe. Does that make sense??? When my brother and his family visit, they seem to fit right in. They do think it's hot, but you get used to the climate in time. Just thought I'd throw in my 2¢ 😀

There is a similar sense of community in Whitehorse, Yukon, where my brother lives, as there is in St. Croix, where I live. They both contain small, isolated populations, including locals, snowbirds and tourists. You run into the same people over and over. The most frequently asked questions of me in Whitehorse were: How long am I visiting the Yukon for? Where do I live? And then many questions about St. Croix. Where is it? Is it part of the US? What do I do there? When my brother visits St. Croix, people ask him the same questions about the Yukon. The most common reaction when he's here, or just about anywhere in the US, is that Yukon = Alaska. The Yukon Territory is in Canada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukon

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Posted : November 11, 2010 11:29 am
Gymrat130
(@Gymrat130)
Advanced Member

I find it interesting that even when someone brings up the subject of the crime, no one offers any feedback on the subject. You are all on top of his questions about taxes, weather, etc. Speee1dy gave some feedback on the subject but at least he acknowledges there is a problem unlike alot of you who behave like if you close your eyes and stay under the covers the boogie man will go away. He comments about being new and stumbling into it. What about when it stumbles into you like the tourist girl that was killed in Coki beach in July.Then some one comments about CNN getting a hold of it and broadcasting it around the world makes it even more sinister. What really is a turn off is that it appears you are all trying to hide it.

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Posted : November 12, 2010 3:02 pm
jewelygirl
(@jewelygirl)
Advanced Member

No one is trying to hide it; it's just that we're not obsessed about it. It's there, it's real, but life goes on.

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Posted : November 12, 2010 3:07 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

OK yes we have crime, it generally mostly involves the locals. I'm on STX and have been here for 5 years after vacationing here for 30+ years. I have never been a victim of any crime. I know where it usually occurs and avoid those areas, especially late at night. If you are drunk late at nigh/ early morning your chances of being a victim rise. Just like anywhere else you have to beware of your surroundings and your safety. Take the normal precautions that you would anywhere and you should have no problem.

Things are improving. More criminals are being caught and convicted. The police are becoming more proactive. Prevention measures are being implemented. We have crime stoppers which makes it easier to report crimes and get information to the police anonymously
The Coki point shooting death of the young women was tragic. She was caught in a revenge shooting crossfire. We still morn for her and her family..

Nothing to hide. What else is troubling you?

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Posted : November 12, 2010 3:36 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

"Things are improving. More criminals are being caught and convicted. The police are becoming more proactive. Prevention measures are being implemented. We have crime stoppers which makes it easier to report crimes and get information to the police anonymously
The Coki point shooting death of the young women was tragic. She was caught in a revenge shooting crossfire. We still morn for her and her family.."

--I don't know which island you live on but I live on the one where the judges but violent criminals on house arrest and then they go out and commit more crimes. I live on the island where no one will talk about the comission but they run everything. I live on the island were more and more innocent people are getting caught in the crossfire of drug deals and robberies gone wrong. I live on the island where I don't know one or two people that have been robbed at gunpoint but I probably know about 20 at least. I live on the island where if you are robbed or burgurlized at gun point and you can give a description of the car and person the police still can't catch, but they all know who the guy is. I could go on and on.

I have seen no evidence that it's getting better at all, and we have the highest murder rate per capita. The crime is just not staying with drug people or the gangs anymore. I think many of us pretend it's not so bad because what are we going to do? Everyone is so apathetic how do you fight it? They won't even let the feds help, until the bulk of the population wants it to get better it never will.

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Posted : November 12, 2010 4:29 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

I agree, there are some huge issues to be dealt with and resolved.

When I talked to the senatorial candidates I raised this issue of low/no bail and inappropriate sentencing. Sen. Nelson, Sen, O'Reilly , Sen Bashinger are all well aware of the problem Candidate Judy Frisks is well aware and has spoken out publicly about the travesty of the inappropriate sentences and low bail. It is in the limelight and it appears that it is an issue that will be dealt with, hopefully soon.

I have to ask, have you been the victim of a crime? are you registered to vote in the VI? just curious.

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Posted : November 12, 2010 6:29 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Yes and Yes.

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Posted : November 12, 2010 6:44 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

OK thanks

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Posted : November 12, 2010 6:48 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

If anybody wants to help reduce crime, one easy way is to become a dues-paying member of Crime Stoppers USVI. It's a very effective program which launched here in January 2009. It has been well-received by the community, by giving people a way to submit their info anonymously to police. If a tip leads to an arrest, recovery of stolen property, illegal drugs or guns, you can earn a reward of up to $2500 paid in cash.

To learn more: http://www.crimestoppersusvi.org/
Statistics: http://www.crimestoppersusvi.org/statistics.aspx
To become a member: http://www.crimestoppersusvi.org/supportus.aspx

Disclosure: I am a volunteer for Crime Stoppers USVI (we pay no salaries), and I am on the executive committee.

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Posted : November 12, 2010 8:01 pm
vivermonster
(@vivermonster)
Active Member

Well, HiYa, Bombi said he lived on STX, so what's up wit that?

I'm an expat and have been here working for 5+ years.

I think to say we have a crime problem is a bit vague. What we have is a serious gun violence problem. Yes, it is focused--young West Indian men (or perhaps more accurately boys) killing their peers over pride, drugs or women. It is tragic and IMHO it won't change until this community and this government can offer some real, positive opportunities to these youth. And I have to say that there is a lot of cultural influence in this matriarchal society that I don't begin to understand.

But the bottom line is that I rarely feel unsafe. Yes, I am cautious. I avoid trouble spots, and have probably missed out on some of the great things that St. Thomas has to offer as a result. But for the most part, it has been a great experience!

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Posted : November 12, 2010 8:27 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

When I look up expatriate it says exile ,emigre,refugee,outcast, pariah, deported person ---- what makes you an expat if you moved here from the States??

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Posted : November 13, 2010 3:29 am
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