Governor: BPT ‘forever’ remark was a personal preference, not a reversal of position

Although just one more person tested positive for COVID 19 Sunday and two more were diagnosed with the disease yesterday, the governor warned that they, in all likelihood, contracted the disease 12 to 18 days ago, and we've yet to see the full-borne symptoms blossom in those who've been infected since.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has clarified that the remark she made yesterday about having the 5 percent business privilege tax “forever” was a personal preference, not a reversal of position.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, the governor said she had always been willing to discuss the BPT with senators and business community as long as there was a “stable and consistent” alternative to replace the revenues lost as a result of the Trump tax cuts.

The governor had previously stated that she wanted the 5 percent BPT to be in place at least until the end of 2021 to more closely gauge how the island’s economy is responding to the government’s efforts to deal with the loss of revenues brought about by the Trump tax cuts.

She stressed that rolling back the 5 percent BPT would be totally irresponsible without an alternative to replace those lost revenues.

She added that the 5 percent BPT was also what enabled GovGuam to successfully float its latest bonds as the credit markets saw the BPT as a “stabilizer”

The governor also urged the private sector to consider that the BPT increase is not as much when companies consider the savings that they got from the Trump tax cuts.

With regard to her administration, the governor said her team is doing all it can to cut costs, increase efficiencies, and increase revenues.

She said revenues from the 5 percent BPT are being used to pay off long-neglected vendors and pay off tax refunds on time in addition to funding much-needed government services.