DRT direct link with All RISE verification urged as residents swamp mayor’s offices

Long line at Dededo mayor's office for All RISE mayor's verification. (Viewer submitted file photo)

Mayors Council of Guam president Jesse Alig believes that if all the mayor’s offices on island were connected directly to the Department of Revenue and Taxation, it would make things more convenient for residents applying for All RISE residency verification.

Alig says he is already talking with DRT about this but so far nothing has been agreed upon yet.

Although the application for the All RISE program isn’t available yet, Alig said the island’s mayor’s offices are already feeling the effects.

Since DRT released the guidelines for the All RISE Act Program, residents have been calling and showing up at their mayor’s offices to get their verification of residency.

A mayor’s verification is one of the documents required to apply for the All RISE program.

Even though Rev and Tax hasn’t finalized the application for All RISE, the department recommended that residents go ahead and get their mayor’s verifications ahead of time. This has resulted in long lines as residents swamp mayor’s offices to get their verifications.

Although verifications usually expire after 30 days, Alig tells PNC that under the All RISE guidelines, as long as residents had the form issued within the year, Rev and Tax will still accept it.

“They are hoping to, I guess, work towards making it a little bit easier for those who already have them. For those who don’t have verification and those not registered with the mayor’s office, then, of course, that’s a little bit more work for them because they’re going to have to show proof of residency with the mayors. So a lease agreement or a utility bill that indicates your name, your house address, is going to be necessary for you to register at the mayor’s office and to receive verification,” Alig said.

Alig adds that the reason for the increase in requests is that residents need to apply for the All RISE program themselves, in contrast to the EIP program, which was automatic.

Even with the sudden increase in demand, some mayor’s offices are unable to adjust their operations to compensate because of their pre-existing responsibilities.

Darlene Camacho, a municipal clerk at the Santa Rita Mayor’s Office, said: “We’re not able to. Our staff continues to deliver manamko lunches, continue to clean up the village of cars and white goods type junk because we have to until the end of the fiscal year. So we are very short-handed.”

Some have been able to leverage technology to make things easier and help keep lines short.

Barrigada Mayor June Blas said: “Because our computers are automated, it’s quick. And so we just have to verify and make sure that these people — their leases and their verifications — are still up to date. And so we make sure, and then it just shoots them out. So it’s just the click of a button, really.”