Dec. 6, 2017
Hagåtña — It’s a pity that Sen. Tom Ada is stonewalling efforts to get tax refunds to the people of Guam within weeks, if not days.
By next month, taxpayers will be filing their tax returns. The tax and revenue anticipation note, as noted in Bill 1(1-S) is a tool that can help expedite tax refund payments.
Seven out of 13 senators present and voting on Bill 1(1-S) voted to pass the bill. Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee, Legislative Secretary, refused to transmit the bill. So a lawsuit was filed. The Supreme Court ruled that the Organic Act is clear on the number of votes required to pass a bill. The number of votes on Bill 1(1-S) clearly meets that litmus test. Now, Acting Legislative Secretary Sen. Tom Ada refuses to transmit the bill.
Do we really need to file another lawsuit to get our legislators to follow the Organic Act? Their delay tactics have already cost one year of expedited tax refund payouts.
The administration has been able to pay out nearly $1 billion in tax refunds over the course of the last 7 years, and has paid tax refunds within months of returns being filed. However, there is a higher standard that the people of Guam expect. The administration has proposed solutions to meet these expectations, but they are met with significant resistance at the Legislature.
Sen. Tom Ada is acting legislative secretary while Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee is off island. It seems the Democratic leadership at the Legislature stands in the way of solutions proffered by the administration — whether it’s to get tax refunds out sooner or to help improve the Guam Memorial Hospital’s services for our people.
Why? That’s a question they will have to answer.
Guamanians can call or email Acting Legislative Secretary Sen. Tom Ada to ask that question. Let him know that the Legislature must follow the Organic Act and transmit Bill 1(1-S) to Adelup for faster release of tax refunds.
Sen. Tom Ada (Acting Legislative Secretary) 472-3301 or and

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