The newly formed Action PAC, the political action committee of the business community, is calling for a rollback of the island’s gross receipts tax.
Christine Baleto, an Action PAC official and the chairwoman of the Guam Chamber of Commerce, said the latest GovGuam audit showed that Adelup has enough money for operations.
“It was reported that the additional $45 million or $35 million was used to pay down the deficit. So that tells us that operations with GRT collections or general fund collections were able to cover the operational budget of those at the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive branch. Therefore, what we’re asking is a temporary rollback or a permanent rollback, depending on how long it takes for the island to recover,” she said during Action PAC’s initial news conference today.
Baleto said the additional funding provided by the GRT increase should not be used to pay for the deficit but used instead to help support the private sector and the community in rebuilding and recovering from the current economic crisis.
“I use the example in private businesses … if you have extra funds to pay down your principal, or extra interest on your loan or whatever the case may be … that tells you that you have sufficient cash flow to cover more than just your operations. Right now, in this economic crisis, we’re asking the government to cover your operations. Allow that extra money to go back to the community through a rollback of the GRT and ease the burden on our private sector businesses so that they can recover and bring their employees back,” Baleto said.
During her news conference last Monday, the governor said she has been very supportive of the business sector.
“I just want to say that this administration has been very supportive of the business sector. So supportive that we support the Santos Act being expanded which allowed tax forgiveness to qualified small businesses,” the governor said.
She added: “I have not been in any discussion or consideration to roll back the GRT. I feel that we are already providing help to our small businesses.”