MCOG head still recommends getting RISE residency verification direct from mayors’ offices

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Long line at Dededo mayor's office for All RISE mayor's verification. (Viewer submitted file photo)

You may still need to get your mayor’s verification directly from the mayor’s office if you want to get your RISE application processed faster.

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Last week, Acting Governor Josh Tenorio directed the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT) to accept applications without mayors’ verifications upon the commencement of the All RISE application process, with DRT verifying the residency of applicants with mayors after the applications are submitted.

But Mayors Council of Guam Jesse Alig said that if residents don’t get their mayor’s verification directly from their mayor’s offices, they may wait longer than those who did.

“Residents are still going to have to either submit one, or they’re going to be on this list where the Department of Revenue and Taxation will send this list of residents who do not have residency or verification of residency attached to their applications. The mayor’s offices will then verify through a list and then send it back so that the residents will actually have to wait in line. If you do it that way … you’re going to wait a little longer because of the verification process,” Alig said in an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo.

According to Alig, lining up or calling the mayor’s office to get the verification form is the quickest way to have your RISE application processed.

“It’s the quickest way because you’re probably gonna wait just a day, at the most in Dededo, Yigo, or maybe even Tamuning. But if you have DRT verify with the mayor’s office, that can take days because the DRT is not going to give us one name, they’re going to give us a list of names. And the issue that we’re going to have there is our identifier. The identifiers that we have in the mayor’s offices are dates of birth, and the identifiers that DRT uses are the social security numbers, which we both don’t have. The mayors don’t have the social security numbers while DRT doesn’t have the date of birth,” Alig said.

“So we’re still encouraging everyone to request for their verifications of residency through the mayor’s office. And it was determined as well that no other form of residency verification will qualify or will be sufficient for this program. No power, water, or cable bill … you’re still going to need a mayor’s verification to verify that that is your home. So the safest way is still the actual form from the mayor’s office,” he added.

Alig said this is the latest update he got after meeting yesterday with DRT director Dafne Shimizu and he plans to share this information during the regular Mayors Council meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Although residents still need to request for a mayor’s verification, Alig said it does not have to be addressed to Rev & Tax or the All RISE program.

“It could be any … it could be addressed to any government agency, and you could make a copy, and that will be sufficient,” he assured.

Alig also said that residents can apply for mayor’s verification via email, adding that the mayors’ emails can be found on the Mayors Council of Guam website at https://mcog.guam.gov/.

Meanwhile, the office of Acting Governor Josh Tenorio issued the following statement today to prevent, what he says, is any further misunderstanding:

“The Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT) does not require the inclusion of a mayor’s verification with the All RISE application. Applicants who submit their applications on the same day and whose residence is verified will be paid at the same time, regardless of whether their applications included the mayor’s verification form. Pursuant to Acting Governor Tenorio’s directive, DRT will verify the information with mayoral offices after applications are received; therefore, applicants are not required to get their mayor’s verification.”

Tamuning resident Mike Carlson also told PNC about his experience in getting a verification.

“The mayor’s office will NOT know who claims residency in their village UNTIL a person walks in their door and requests such a document. At that time, the mayor’s staff will ask the street address and so forth and make an entry into their directory. You might want to test that by calling your mayor’s office and seeing if they know you are residing in the village, unless you have already registered,” Carlson said.

He added: “Anyways, it seems this method lacks the information until a person provides it to them and I do NOT recall anyone from my mayor’s office doing any follow up to verify the accuracy of the information I presented to the mayor’s office staff.”

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