NEWS: Senators argue against paying your tax refunds quicker
Sen. Mary Torres today questioned whether paying tax refunds faster would benefit the people of Guam.
The Governor’s fiscal team answered with a resounding “Yes.” Currently, the Government owes an estimated 40,000 people their tax refunds and could likely pay interest on that money. The TRAN, which would be authorized by the Governor’s bill, would take that debt from the people and place it on the bank.
Speaker BJ Cruz and Sen. Mike San Nicolas wanted to delay the vote on the TRAN. Sen. San Nicolas made a motion to refer the bill back to committee.
DOA Director Christine Baleto said many people are waiting for their refunds and for some, months of waiting is too long. Baleto and the Governor’s fiscal team were summoned by Speaker BJ Cruz to special session today where senators gathered once again to debate the merits of the Governor’s bill to get tax refunds paid to the people of Guam within weeks.
The team arrived, ready to answer questions and work with senators to move the Governor’s version of Bill 1(1-S) forward. The bill would pay tax refunds to Guam’s tax payers by early June. The goal was originally to get refunds out by the end of May, but Speaker Cruz and Senator San Nicolas pushed that timeline back when they delayed the vote.
We sincerely hope that the senators see reason, see that this is good for the people of Guam, see that the TRAN is a financial management tool that could help us get tax refunds out quickly and save the Government money on interest payments.
Sen. Louise Muna said at the end of the day, the people who are owed tax refunds just want their money. “I know what it feels like” to fall behind on the mortgage and waiting on your tax refund to get some breathing room.
Sen. Mary Torres, commented on the administration’s efforts to pay tax refunds, calling it ba’barias – which roughly translated means “nonsense” in CHamorro. Has she forgotten the testimony of people taking loans out on their tax refunds at a 24% interest? Sen. Torres said she has “very serious considerations of paying tax refunds immediately when all we yield is $50,000.”
She did acknowledge that the Governor’s bill would pay tax refunds faster and bring some savings. But reiterated that without the TRAN “they would have gotten that money anyways.”
In other words, these senators — Speaker Cruz, Sens. San Nicolas and Torres — have no problem with you waiting for your tax refunds.
If you want your tax refunds sooner, call your senators today.
Speaker BJ Cruz: 477-2520/1
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje: 472-3586
Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee: 472-3455
Sen. Thomas Ada: 473-3301/02
Sen. Joe S. San Agustin: 989-5445
Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson: 989-4678
Sen. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas: 472-6453
Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.: 649-8638/0511
Sen. Frank B. Aguon: 475-4861/2
Sen. James Espaldon: 475-4546
Sen. Tommy Morrison: 478-8669
Sen. Mary Torres: 475-6279
Sen. Louise B. Muna: 969-9852/9853
Sen. Wil Castro: 969-1225/6
Sen. Fernando B. Esteves: 969-3376

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