The Supreme Court of Guam just ruled that the governor cannot repay the General Fund from the tax refund Trust Fund account. Governor Calvo has been paying more in refunds (from the General Fund) than the law requires in order to pay refunds faster. With this court ruling, which cannot be appealed, Governor Calvo can no longer reimburse the General Fund for advancing payments of tax refunds.
The court did not order the administration to remedy any recent actions. The court did not find that the General Fund owes anything to the Trust Fund nor that anything needed to be paid back. As a matter of fact, at the end of last year, we had deposited $7 million more into the Trust Fund than the law required. The court accepted this fact without dispute. It made a judgment on a procedural question.
This is our response to the court ruling and to this law:
–       Tax refunds are being paid on time for the first time in two decades.
–       We were basically sued for paying tax refunds faster than the law required by fronting cash from the General Fund, paying tax refunds, then reimbursing the General Fund what it paid for tax refunds. The suit served no purpose, especially when the Legislature had two decades to sue previous governors for being years late in the payment of refunds.
–       Last fiscal year, we were required by law to pay $113 million in tax refunds. We paid over $130 million – $17 million more than required. If we had followed the law strictly, taxpayers would have been shorted millions in tax refunds.
–       Why the Legislature would insist on a measure that makes it more complicated to pay tax refunds is beyond our comprehension. The Legislature has stood in our way from the very beginning of Governor Calvo’s term, when he started his campaign to pay back all the tax refunds owed to them. Clearly, these elements have stood true to their belief that they would rather owe the people than the bank.
–       While we can take this apart piece by piece, we see no value in doing so. The Governor remains undeterred in his commitment to pay your refunds on time. Tax refunds are being paid on time, and faster than they’ve ever been paid in Guam history.

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