VIDEO: Two New Laws Work Together to Fund Education Priorities

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Guam – A new law funding a revaluation of real property is expected to raise an additional $7-11 Million in property taxes for the Territorial Educational Facilities Fund each year. That money is designated to go toward a number of education-related projects. 

Governor Eddie Calvo signed both measures into law on Friday.

Speaker Judi Won Pat was one of the eight senators who introduced the revaluation measure, which appropriates $1.4 Million to the Department of Revenue and Taxation to do the revaluation.

“They’re expecting that will take about six months,” Won Pat told PNC. “Once they’ve done that of course then they’ll be able to start billing now those home owners.”

Won Pat is also one of the six lawmakers who introduced the measure that prioritizes how the new revenue will be spent. The first priority the bill funds is the replacement or renovation of Simon Sanchez High School. Won Pat says the wording of the law allows DOE some flexibility to use the money as they see fit.

“The superintendent was thinking also something central whether its a central high school or central middle school. So that would allow them to do that,” Won Pat explained. “I really hope that they’ll be able to negotiate something and draw out some funds where they’re not going to take the full amount just for one school.”

Once DOE finishes using the funds for facility construction, rehabilitation and maintenance, the law also puts the University of Guam, Guam Community College, and the Guam Public Library System in line for funding.

“If this goes any further to for the very first time we’ll be able to fund for a territorial librarian and one assistant,” Won Pat said of the law’s potential. “It would also create a special fund and a special program for early childhood.”

The Revaluation law, introduced as Bill 124-32, was introduced by Won Pat, Tina Muna Barnes, Rory Respico, Chris Duenas, Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Aline Yamashita, Dennis Rodriguez and Tommy Morrison. The law designating the spending of the new revenue, introduced as Bill 63-32, was introduced by Won Pat, Yamashita, Muna Barnes, San Nicolas, Rodriguez and Morrison.