Guam – Senator Rory Respicio has made some comments on Facebook about the late payment of tax refunds and the administration has fired back saying the statements are false.
Senator Respicio believes that the Governor withdrew and spent $50 million dollars in tax refunds which is why they aren’t paying all the refunds that have been processed. The administration says this isn’t true and they say that the Governor has a good track record for paying tax refunds.
On Facebook Senator Rory Respicio commented in part that “the first reality is that the Governor used $50 million of tax refund money for operations and now people have to wait again for their refund checks.” The Senator says this comment was prompted by a public hearing he recently held. “When I got Rev and Tax director to acknowledge on the record at an oversight hearing that Rev and Tax processed up to February 7th has $17 million dollars that can be released immediately but yet the governor has only released tax refunds up to February 3rd,” said
The Governor’s office has responded to Senator Respicio’s Facebook posting calling it false. “The truth is the Governor has been paying tax refunds faster than it’s been paid in twenty years and I think taxpayers know that I understand that this is just something that very few people because the last time it happened was over 20 years ago,” said Senator Respicio.
However Senator Respicio says that according to the testimony from the Department of Rev and Tax this latest batch of tax refunds should be paying up to February the 7th. “If the Governor is saying that there is a surplus that there’s no deficit why is it that taxpayers have to wait for tax refunds? Shouldn’t it be paid as soon as its processed?” asked Senator Respicio.
Torres says that its ridiculous for Senator Respicio to accuse the late payment of tax refunds on the Governor’s withdrawal of $50 Million from the tax refund account to pay for operations. He says the Governor has a great track record for paying tax refunds. Torres says that the FY2013 budget required that the governor deposit $113 million dollars into the tax refund trust fund account. “And we actually deposited $130 million dollars into the trust fund and on top of that we actually paid $137 million dollars in tax refunds in that same period,” said Torres.
The issue of whether or not Governor Calvo had the authority to withdraw $50 million dollars in tax refunds from the trust fund account will ultimately be settled in court as the legislature has requested a declaratory judgement.