Gov says plan gets Guam out of fiscal hole - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Gov says plan gets Guam out of fiscal hole

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo in a special address from Adelup says the fiscal plan he released today is not just a budget, but a plan to get the Government of Guam out of the fiscal hole that has existed for 20 years. Calvo says the budget must be an instrument to fund services and pay the governments bills. He stressed the magnitude of the, pegged and $348 million.

Of that amount, he says $280 million is owed to tax payers in refunds. Calvo say the plan introduced today will hold the Administration and the legislature to a fiscal plan for at least the next two years. 

Calvo says first they are proposing conservative revenue projections that do not take into account federally unfunded military projects and secondly the appropriations levels for agencies will remain low. Calvo admits the government will have to sacrifice saying they will not fund services to the extent of mandates. Priority will be given to schools, public health and public safety.

In addition, Calvo announced they will continue a two percent reserve and mandate a reservation of tax refunds in a trust. Calvo says the proposed $344 million bond to pay all tax refunds owed is the largest component of the plan. The plan he says will put thousands of dollars into taxpayers' hands this year essentially wiping out the largest part of the deficit.

Calvo recognized the apprehension of some to borrow more money, but made clear the different between his plan and ones of the past. He says if they stick to the status quo the government will never be able to pay tax refunds and will always be three years behind. The plan will solve the financial crisis and put money back into the hand of the people, says Calvo.

Calvo acknowledged the existence of government waste saying directives have been sent out to improve all-around service by government agencies. He says employees who do not serve the public well will be disciplined, explaining this is how he will streamline the government.

The governor ended his address by telling citizens the budget is for the people and does not treat them as subjects of the government.

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