Speaker Therese Terlaje has introduced Bills 260 and 261 – in order to try and bring down or eliminate Guam’s Fuel Tax
PNC’s Don Sulat has more on this story…
According to the Office of the Speaker – “Bill 260-36 proposes to repeal Public Law 34-44” which, according to the Speaker, “increased the Liquid Fuels Tax Rate by 4 cents per gallon in 2017.”
Bill 261 meanwhile proposes to repeal the 11th Guam Code Annotated Chapter 26 article 4, otherwise known as the “Liquid Fuels Tax” altogether.
The two bills achieves a similar effect, but have different approaches.
260 simply repeals the 4 cent increase on the Liquid Fuels tax rate since 2017 while and Bill 261. In an interview on NewsTalk K57 with Tony Lamorena, Speaker Terlaje said that she prefers 261 to 260.
Moreover, in an interview with PNC, Speaker reports that they have been working on this bill for a while, and felt comfortable introducing it now as they saw an excess in the Revenue and expenditure report general funds for the Government of Guam.
In summary, the Speaker hopes that the $46 million excess could be used to cover the Liquid Fuels Tax, should Bill 261 pass.
In response to both of the bills – Director for Bureau of Budget Management and Research – Lester Carlson, reported during an interview on NewsTalk K57 with Patti Arroyo -that the holes left behind, should either bill pass, might be bigger than anticipated.
The 4 cents that Bill 260 would remove, according to Carlson, has a purpose. He says the incremental difference would have gone to Department of Public Works road projects.
He adds it might not be a “hard pill to swallow” in the near future, but it could be an issue later on.
Moreover – in response to the Speaker’s proposal to use Federal monies, such as ARPA, to fund things like road projects, Carlson commented that it might not be feasible.