Local activist urges lawmakers to hold referendum on proposed liquid fuel tax hike

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Ken Leon Guerrero, who is affiliated with the Guam Citizens for Public Accountability, sued the governor for the creation and implementation of Executive Order 2020-10. 

Senator Morrison’s bill proposes to increase the tax on diesel fuel to 14 cents a gallon.

Guam – Lawmakers held a public hearing on bill 122 on Monday which would raise the liquid fuel tax.

The proposed hike would take the tax on diesel fuel from ten cents a gallon to 14 cents a gallon by 2020. It would raise the tax on all other liquid fuel from 11 cents a gallon to 15 cents a gallon by 2020. The bill’s author, Senator Tommy Morrison, has said this tax hike would fund repairs to Guam’s roads. Citizens for Public Accountability Spokesman Ken Leon Guerrero testified during today’s (Monday) hearing saying this tax hike must be approved by a voter referendum as is required by Guam law. However, he also proposed raising the tax even higher to avoid having to borrow more money on the bond market in order to pave the roads.

Citizens for Public Accountability Spokesman Ken Leon Guerrero testified during Monday’s hearing, saying this tax hike must be approved by a voter referendum as is required by Guam law. However, he also proposed raising the tax even higher to avoid having to borrow more money on the bond market in order to pave the roads.

“I’m supporting raising the taxes and using the taxes to pay for the repairs in lieu of borrowing $50 million. Because if we borrow $50 million, we’re gonna send $30 million off in the form of fees and interest so rather than borrow $50 million and pay $80 million, let’s just go ahead and raise the tax to ten percent, send an additional $10 million a year to public works, give [Department of Public Works Director Glenn Leon Guerrero] the ability to repave 20 miles of village roads a year,” said Leon Guerrero.

If the tax hike went to a voter referendum, the proposed taxes would not be approved until 2018. DPW Director Glenn Leon Guerrero testified that he needs the funding as soon as possible to begin road repairs immediately.