GFT opposes business privilege tax rollback

166

The Guam Federation of Teachers is opposing legislation to roll back the business privilege tax.

According to GFT, it supports adequate and responsible funding of government operations, which is why it is opposing Bill 09-35, introduced by Sen. James Moylan, which seeks to roll back the BPT from 5 percent to 4 percent, thereby reducing the government’s operating capital by approximately $54 million dollars.

Last year, PL 34-116 raised the BPT from 4 percent to 5 percent. GFT said the tax increase was in response to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and was necessary to prevent the layoff or furlough of thousands of public employees, a downturn of in the economy, a crisis at the hospital, the shutting down of police stations and fire stations, freezing salaries and more stemming from the reduction of revenue facing the government.

According to GFT, Guam was faced with a crisis situation and the legislature responded in an appropriate and responsible manner by reducing the cost of government operations and implementing the new 5% BPT.

“The government is our largest employer, drives the economy and provides essential services. When the government is inadequately funded, the economy suffers, people suffer, and government services suffer,” GFT stated.

The union added: “The condition the legislature responded to by enacting the new 5% BPT remains in place today. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is still in effect and continues to negatively impact government revenue. Presently, government finances seem to be in order and manageable. There exists no good reason why the government should roll back the 5% BPT to 4%. In due time, Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act will expire on its own terms and that is the time to revisit this issue.”

##