Governor touts higher revenues; reduction in deficit

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero held a news conference this afternoon touting the Office of Public Accountability’s recently released GovGuam audited financials for 2019.

The OPA audit, released last week, reported that GovGuam revenues increased and the general fund deficit was reduced.

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“After just nine months in office and thanks to the work of our fiscal discipline team, the General Fund deficit was cut nearly in half from $83.4 million to $47.8 million. Our revenue collections increased, General Fund budgeted expenditures decreased by $32.1 million, and total General Fund expenditures decreased by $11.8 million as compared to the previous fiscal year—even after we reduced the Business Privilege Tax rate for our small businesses through the expansion of the Dave Santos Act,” the governor said.

According to OPA’s audit findings, GovGuam’s General Fund ended FY 2019 with a single-year surplus of $35.6 million, up from a $10.4 million deficit in 2018.

The governor said this accomplishment was achieved through strict fiscal discipline, strong expenditure controls, and efficient cash management.

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“Our success in 2019 didn’t just come from aggressive tax collections, it also came in the form of reduced spending across the board. While a small chorus of cynics have criticized this administration’s management of the government’s finances and overall fiscal health for headlines and sound bytes—the facts are in,” Leon Guerrero said.

She added: “The deficit was reduced, expenditures have decreased—and none of it has come at the cost of massive layoffs, furloughs, or a loss in basic public services. Instead, a small team of quiet professionals worked together to implement our budget wisely, manage our cash efficiently, and collect our taxes aggressively.”

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