TRAN will pay refunds faster; no layoffs or any other hokey pokey
Statement from the Governor’s Fiscal Team
April 28, 2017
Speaker BJ Cruz’s assumption that the TRAN would cause layoffs of government employees isn’t correct.
The TRAN doesn’t affect the fiscal budget whatsoever. All the TRAN does is provide cash to pay tax refunds right away. It really doesn’t get more complicated than that, unless you want to look at how this TRAN will even SAVE GovGuam money on interest.
Whatever cash that comes in for the balance of the fiscal year that would have paid those refunds will instead pay back the TRAN. This does include cash from Section 30 reimbursements that arrive in September.
With or without the TRAN, a chunk of that cash from the Section 30 is going to pay for tax refunds. As a matter of fact, the administration has used Section 30 money to pay large chunks of the refund liability since the Legislature rejected the Governor’s spending cuts bill in 2012. No layoff or so much as a threat of a Payless payday has occurred as a result of using this money. No layoff or any sort of financial calamity will occur by using Section 30 money this year to pay for people getting their refunds faster.
We find it difficult to believe Speaker Cruz is offering a sincere reason for opposing or slowing the payment of refunds. He must be aware that cash from the Section 30 reimbursement has been used since 2012 to pay for tax refunds for two glaring reasons:
Following the legislature’s rejection of the original (partial) tax refunds bond, and then Bill No. 507-31, the Governor’s spending cuts bill of 2012, the only remaining alternative was to juggle cash receipts and begin dedicating cash from Section 30 to pay refunds.
In 2013, the Governor called the legislature into session to appropriate additional Section 30 money to pay more tax refunds. Then-Vice Speaker Cruz issued a news release and told the Governor to “Cut the politics and just cut the checks,” referring to tax refund checks. He said the Governor didn’t need legislative permission to use Section 30 money for refunds, and that the governor should use Section 30 money to pay the refunds right away.
We understand the anxiety of politics, but issuing scares to GovGuam employees in an attempt to stop an effort to pay people their money faster is wrong.
We hope senators will see this for what it is, understand what is right and act according to conscience.

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