The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced Thursday, the release $65,109,936 to Guam for federal income tax advance payments under Section 30 of the Organic Act of Guam for fiscal year 2021.
In his own release, Congressman Michael San Nicolas said, “with this deposit I am hopeful that we will see a catch up in tax refund payments, as that deficit to our people has actually worsened at a time when they need the funding the most.”
San Nicolas said in addition to the Section 30 payment of $65 Million direct to the Government of Guam, $14,920,061 was also set aside to fund remaining War Claims.
“With 2021 bringing the federal War Claims payments to a close, the additional $14 Million should be received directly by the Government of Guam going forward, providing a critical revenue boost in a year likely to see very challenging financials.”
He added: “if revenues improve as loftily as hoped, this funding source could also be allocated to a local war claims program that if enacted this year could adjudicate and begin payments as early as next year for the remaining 11,000 and their dependents we have prominently named on our WWII Memorial.”
Under Guam’s Organic Act, federal income taxes derived from active members of the United States Armed Forces and pensions paid to retired civilian and military employees of the United States who reside on Guam are annually “covered-over” to the Guam Treasury to support the operations, activities, and programs of the local government (48 U.S. Code 1421 Section h).
Through changes made under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (U.S. Public Law 114-328, Section 1703) some of these funds are set aside for the Guam World War II Claims Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury). In March of 2020, Interior Secretary Bernhardt applauded President Trump when he signed H.R. 1365, which made technical corrections to the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. This legislation, passed by the House and Senate, authorized the Treasury to issue payments to survivors of Guam’s occupation by Imperial Japanese Forces during World War II.
All payments are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
(News Release from The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Office of Congressman Michael San Nicolas)