Rev & Tax Gets More Funding in 2011 Budget; But Ilagan Says Its Not Enough

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Guam – Guam is facing a  tight budget in the year ahead. But lawmakers did manage to squeeze out some extra funds for the Department of Revenue and tax. However Rev & Tax Director Art Ilagan told PNC News that it won’t be enough to enable Rev & Tax to launch the aggressive collection campaign
that is needed.

Ilagan points out that the Guam Chamber of Commerce has estimated that there is $100 million dollars out there in Guam’s ” underground” economy that goes un-collected every year. But in Rev & Tax’s Criminal Investigation Division. There is only a Supervisor and 1 investigator.

Rev & Tax’s current fiscal year budget amounts to $11.7 million dollars. Ilagan asked for an increase to $14 million in order to hire the accountants and investigators he needs to start collecting from the under ground economy.

But the 2011 budget approved Friday by the Legislature, provides only $12 million. That is just a $300-thousand dollar increase over last year. Enough to hire 7 maybe 8 more accountants and investigators. Ilagan says they need at least 75 more people.

And while Rev & Tax main job is to collect revenues, its been spending a lot of time giving it out in the form of  refunds. The OPA’s recent audit found that Rev & Tax owes $259 million dollars in refunds to island residents.