by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Department of Revenue & Taxation Director Art Ilagan says the latest audit on the Government of Guam's finances is further proof of what he's been saying for years: the government needs to enhance its revenues because the debt keeps piling up. Ilagan added that the revenue source is not sufficient to pay all of the government's debts including tax returns that still haven't been paid for tax years 2007 through 2009.
The audit showed the government is spending close to $100 million more than the revenues coming into its coffers. The director said, "We are so behind with the processing of returns that every year it seems to be we concentrate because people need their refunds on the refund side of the tax returns and somebody has to look at the people who owe as a balance tax due returns."
While Governor Felix Camacho developed an initiative to detail financial staff to help with collections, Ilagan says DRT only received 17 and they're now down to 6. While the detailed employees weren't able to accomplish the goal of collecting millions, Ilagan says they provided support on several projects.
He stresses the agency still needs to hire more staff and properly train them in order to increase collections.