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Autonomous agencies to pay fair share

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations Senator Ben Pangelinan says he's watching how far the governor will go to collect from autonomous agencies who haven't been complying with local law to pay their fair share into what's called the Autonomous Agencies Infrastructure Collections Fund.

The Department of Administration sent a $12 million invoice to the Airport, Port and Guam Power, mandating they pay up. While Senator Pangelinan will wait and see what happens, he doesn't necessarily disagree with the concept of collecting. He said, "I think that if these entities hold them out to be operating like a business and so forth this is a return on the investment by the people of Guam to these autonomous agencies. 

"When they became autonomous we gave them all of the assets for free that were paid for by the general fund so it would make some kind of sense to say that when your operations are such that you have the surplus income, then you need to reimburse the general fund and pay for the assets that were given to you for free."

The Airport and Port don't seem inclined to make the payments. GPA is reviewing the bill, but CCU chairperson Simon Sanchez indicated that should they be forced to pay they may have to raise rates. The law creating this fund prohibited rate increases.

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