Speaker drafts bill that would speed up income tax refunds

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (PNC file photo)

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes is drafting a bill that would authorize the quick payment of income tax refunds.

“As we learned of the passage of H.R. 1365 today, we intend to use the anticipated $11 million dollars to provide for the needs of our community,” the Speaker wrote in a letter to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

She said many local businesses are doing their part by heeding the Executive Order aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. As such, many businesses have no choice, but to furlough their employees – leaving many hardworking families with no income.

“Our Vice Speaker, Telena Nelson, has introduced a measure that would allow our Government of Guam to address the immediate needs of those who have lost their source of income. While a portion of the anticipated reimbursements can be redirected to fund this program – there is still a substantial amount available for our Government to address the immediate needs of our community,” the Speaker wrote.

She added that their goal is to use the remaining funds anticipated to be reimbursed to the Government of Guam to address the immediate needs of our residents by authorizing the governor to fund the immediate payments of tax refunds.

“While we think this would be an immediate benefit for our residents, we understand that while you exercise your Organic Act authority to protect the health and safety of our residents, there may be other areas that you may need to prioritize. As such, we request your input to allow this Legislature to assist you in providing for the immediate needs of the Island of Guam,” the Speaker wrote.