NEWS: Residents testify at public hearing on tax refund bill
“I want my husband to come home from work and be able to breathe.”
In preparation for tomorrow’s special session on the Governor’s legislation to pay out tax refunds quicker, a second public hearing was held at Adelup last night, drawing the testimony of about a dozen residents.
Caroline Crisostomo, of Mongmong, gave an impassioned testimony on what tax refunds mean to her family, and many families like hers. She said getting tax refunds sooner rather than later would allow them some breathing room and an opportunity to catch up on some bills, or get ahead on others. Getting behind on bills, means calls from landlords and such, and having to explain their situations and what they’re doing to ensure payments are made.
Sarah Leon Guerrero, of Sinajana, said it took years to convince her children (who went off island for college) to return to Guam. And situations when you have to wait months for tax refunds after having received it in about 2 weeks in Arizona is concerning for them. She said really, it’s about getting the refund that is owed to them on taxes that they overpaid. As an educator, she said her students talk about using tax refunds for real needs, such as tuition, rent and other bills, “nothing frivolous … but actual needs.”
They joined about 10 other residents who offered testimony on Bill 1(1-S) last night. The bill authorizes the issuance of General Obligation Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes of the Government of Guam. In short, the bill would allow the government to get as much as $75 million in this year’s tax refunds out by the end of May. The bill also would allow the government for the next two years to take similar steps to pay tax refunds within weeks.
Acting Governor Ray Tenorio presided over tonight’s public hearing, the second of such held to allow the public an opportunity to voice comments, concerns, and ask questions about Bill 1(1-S).
“The people who testified tonight all shared the same sentiments. They have seen things improve in the last few years. But the work isn’t done,” acting Governor Ray Tenorio stated after the hearing. “Tonight, the message is clear, while we’ve taken our government from years of tax refunds to paying them in months — the next step is to take it from months to weeks and take our government from Good to Great!”
The special session is expected to begin at 9 a.m. at the Historic Congressional Building in Hagåtña. As with all other legislative proceedings, the special session will be broadcast live on the Legislature TV Channel (Channel 21 on GTA and Channel 117 on Docomo) and will stream live online: .

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