Governor’s 2019 budget proposes $1B in spending

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Former Guam governor Eddie Calvo will represent President Trump in a town hall meeting this weekend.

Guam – The governor’s budget request for fiscal year 2019 operations has two options the first of which asks for the authorization to spend $1,040,948,857. The second option seeks authorization to spend $930,852,312. These figures include general fund, special fund and federal matching fund revenues.

According to the budget cover letter the administration is anticipating a loss of $66.1 million in revenues for FY2019 because of the Trump tax cuts. So, in light of this option #1 of the budget seeks to raise the Business Privilege Tax also known as the Gross Receipts Tax by 2%. The governor writes that this would “return our revenue collections to what we had initially anticipated in the fiscal 2018 budget, and maintain that level for fiscal 2019. It also would allow us to ensure that the health and well being of our island is finally addressed by providing a stable and continuous funding source for the Guam Memorial Hospital.”

Without raising taxes the governor says in his budget letter that, “we will have to cut into all government branches and agencies, finding ways to insulate those agencies that provide core services, including public safety, public health and education, and will have effectively ‘kicked the can down the road’ by abandoning our only public hospital.”

Option #2 of the governor’s budget does not include the 2% increase to the BPT/GRT and instead factors in the anticipated $66.1 million dollar reduction in revenues attributed to the Trump tax cuts.