Guam – No action was taken on the Governor’s proposed amendment to the tax refund bond Wednesday.
It was the second day of the 4th Special Session called by the Governor in the past month, all of them dealing with the Governor’s proposed tax refund bond.
Lawmakers spent a few hours Wednesday afternoon hearing detailed testimony from Rev & Tax officials on property assessments and how the proposed amendment, Bill #1 (4-S)might affect the 90% debt limit. Some Senators have expressed concerns that the amendment might circumvent the 90% debt limit.
The Governor’s Chief Policy Adviser Arthur Clark used a white-board to help provide explanations to the questions raised by Senators.
Clark said the amendment boils down to allowing the full assessed value of a homeoweners property to be listed on the tax rolls, while preserving the tax exemptions already in place on those properties.
By doing that the total assessed property value, upon which the debt limit is based, would be raised sufficiently to allow for a $243 million bond to be issued , without breaching the 90% debt limit.
Bond Counsel Stan Dirks has said the chnage is necessary in order for him to provide an “unqualified opinion” on the bond.
The language in the Governor’s proposed amendment was included in the Governor’s original bond borrowing bill, but removed in the compromise version passed last week. The Governor says it needs to be restored to allow for a $243 million dollar bond to be issued. As it stands now only $200-million in bond borrowing is possible.
The Special Session resumes Thursday at 10 am.
Read the Majority Leader’s report in FULL below:
September 21, 2011
For Immediate Release
Legislature Continues Fourth Special Session
(Hagåtña, Guam) – Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Senator Rory J. Respicio reports that the legislature continued day two of the fourth special session called by I Maga’lahen Guahan.
Today marked day two of discussions in Committee of the Whole, chaired by Senator ben pangelinan, Chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Lands, on Bill No. 1(4‐S) – “AN ACT TO AMEND THE REAL PROPERTY TAX PROVISIONS AND THE GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND AUTHORIZATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”
Senators and administration officials, including Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark and representatives from the Department of Revenue and Taxation and the Department of Land Management, are debating the issue of assessing the Home Tax Exemption as it applies to the consideration of the government’s ability to float the bond authorized in Substitute Bill No. 1(3‐S) which was signed into law this past Monday, September 19, 2011.
Discussion on Bill No. 1(4‐S) continues when session resumes tomorrow, Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM. The public can tune in on MCV Channel 13 or GUdTV Channel 21.