“When it comes to tax increases in general we absolutely oppose it.” – Bobbi Shringi Guam Chamber of Commmerce
Guam – The Guam Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the Governor’s bill that would borrow $425 million dollars on the bond market for the Guam Memorial Hospital. Specifically, they are opposed to the bill because it includes plans to raise taxes.
“When it comes to tax increases in general we absolutely oppose it. Bill 33-38 while it doesn’t exactly mandate that any of these taxes should be increased what it does is it proposes a number of items that the legislature can consider,” said Chamber Spokesman Bobbi Shringi. The proposes increases to the gross receipt taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, wholesale taxes and property taxes.
“In other words there’s a whole buffet of items that the legislature can look into but the chamber’s position is very simple. We absolutely oppose the increase or creation of any taxes.” Shringi says that increasing taxes will increase the operational expenses of island businesses and whenever operational expenses increase prices increase.
“In reality you’re not just impacting their business but you’re impacting the everyday consumer like you and I who are gonna go to the grocery store and pick up a carton of milk and find out that it’s gone up by this percent.”
Shringi says that the chamber is not just opposing the legislation but also willing to work on solutions to solve the root problems at the Guam Memorial Hospital. “We have a number of experts on the board that come from financial backgrounds. We have medical professionals, we have individuals who are willing to provide their two cents into what can be done. Nobody has the silver bullet answer or the magic bullet answer but there are steps that you can take,” said Shringi.
Shringi says that the Guam Chamber of Commerce understands that the hospital needs money but they don’t believe the money should come through raising taxes.