Guam – Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Ben Pangelinan is in Washington D.C. on Thursday and Friday this week to meet with officials to explore opportunities to better prepare the government of Guam for the military buildup.
In a release, Senator Pangelinan says he will meet with the Internal Revenue Service and the Director of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas to discuss technical assistance opportunities to improve the Department of Revenue and Taxation’s ability to increase compliance and enforcement of Guam tax laws as well as efficiency gains through modernization.
“With the military moving forward with their expansion plans despite Guam’s objections based on many unresolved issues of concern in the FEIS, it is still imperative that we explore and maximize every avenue to realize the tax revenues projected in the FEIS. I am in Washington DC to seek the support and expertise of the Obama administration and the military to improve Guam’s ability to monitor compliance and enforce our territorial tax policies.” explained Pangelinan.
Senator Pangelinan will also meet with Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services as a result of a cooperative project between the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) and the Office of Finance and Budget to discuss the process to petition for higher reimbursement rates for the National School Lunch Program.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating that provides cash subsidies and donated commodities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for each meal they serve. In return, recipients must serve lunches that meet Federal nutritional requirements, and they must offer free or reduced priced lunches to eligible children.
Currently, Guam is reimbursed based on same rates as the contiguous 48 states while Hawaii, Alaska and other foreign military bases receive higher reimbursements for meals served even though the cost of importing food and energy is much higher for Guam. The goal is to increase the reimbursement rates so GDOE and DoDEA can deliver more meals to school children.
Other officials the senator is scheduled to meet with are U.S. Senator for Hawai’i Dan Inouye, Congresswoman Bordallo, Congresswoman Christensen, Robert Griffin, Assistant Commander for Acquisition Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Mr. Bill Bostic, Census Bureau, Assistant Director of Economic Programs.