GovGuam raise rollback no longer on the table; session held to consider 50% GRT increase

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Guam – Lawmakers went into session this afternoon(Thurs.) specifically to discuss bill 245 or the governor’s bill to raise the Gross Receipts Tax or Business Privilege Tax by 2% from 4% to 6%. Senators brought in a panel comprised of the governor’s fiscal team and began discussing the measure in the committee of the whole. Speaker B.J. Cruz asked the panel if passing bill 245 “as is” would eliminate the need for GovGuam to continue pursuing its fiscal realignment plan. Bureau of Budget and Management Research Director Lester Carlson told Speaker Cruz it would actually help them with their cost containment measures and fiscal realignment plan. Carlson said its in their best interest to continue fiscal responsibility as they want to end this fiscal year with a surplus so that they can go out with their “heads held high”. Carlson says they would like to set the stage for the next governor and next legislature.

Senators will not be considering Speaker BJ Cruz’s bill 244 which would’ve raised BPT by 1 percent and rollback GovGuam Hay raises. The Speaker told Patti Arroyo this morning(Thurs.) on Newstalk K57 that bill 244 was dead because he received no support for it.

As of the publishing of this article Senators had not yet voted on the measure.