Governor pushes for bond before court orders payment - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor pushes for bond before court orders payment

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Calvo Administration says a class action lawsuit filed in April to force the government to pay past due tax refunds is another reason why the legislature should move on his $300 million bond proposal which they stripped out of the budget.  According to a media release Department of Administration director Benita Manglona has been summoned to give a deposition in the tax refunds class action lawsuit on August 31st.  Deputy Tax Commissioner Paul Pablo already was deposed last month.

It was in April attorney Ignacio Aguigui filed suit on behalf of Rae and Jeff Paeste and Sharon Zapanta and all other taxpayers waiting to receive their refunds. According to the lawsuit, the class alleges they have not been given a notice of disallowance of claims by the government, and will continue to suffer economic hardship because of the government's continued failure to promptly pay refunds.

The Calvo administration says the class action suit further justifies the need for the government to make good on its obligations to the people owed tax refunds before a court forces the government to do so.

The government of Guam has a history of class action lawsuit brought against it:

-In 1993, govguam retiree and former Govguam retirement fund deputy director Candelaria Rios filed a class action suit against the government. After a 13-year fight Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas ruled the government owed the class $123 million for the years it had not paid its recipients.

-In December 2004, a class action lawsuit was filed against govguam for the non-payment of the earned income tax credit. The government settled the case incurring tens of millions more in debt to those owed EITC.

 According to Adelup the government was able to pay most of these overdue obligations to the people by floating bonds in 2007 and 2009.  Governor Calvo says he wants to pay the people their tax refunds before a court has to force us to do it adding "that if a court forces us to pay these refunds, not only will our government collapse, but the people owed refunds will be shortchanged their refunds by attorney's fees".

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