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Revenue enhancement activities laid out

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - As the Calvo Administration is set to return soon from their trip to the mainland where they are trying to market and sell the tax refunds bond, the Department of Revenue & Taxation is preparing not only for the tax refunds, but finding ways to improve GovGuam's cash flow situation.  

With the promise of tax refunds and Christmas around the corner, Rev & Tax is moving forward with several revenue enhancement activities resulting in millions. Deputy director Marie Benito said, "Because right now we need all the cash infusion that we can bring in now in order to balance the budget and pay for services that are needed out there."

Rev & Tax has over a dozen initiatives and programs that would accumulate at most $39 million throughout several years. "We've have already hired some revenue officers, revenue agents, tax auditors, and this is to improve our Tax Enforcement Division to strengthen that division because of course we have to go out there and collect those accounts that are unpaid," Benito said.

DRT had previously noted that these hires were necessary in order to aggressively collect taxes and reduce receivables, which averages around $90 million a month. And with last month's University of Guam independent financial and cost-benefit analysis, these revenue enhancement initiatives could not come at a better time as DRT will really have to enforce and collect Business Privilege Taxes.

Said Benito, "That was our other revenue enhancement which are contractors and the military buildup, that's the other thing and we monitor, make sure they're in compliance make sure GRT is being paid. And also with Senator [Ben] Pangelinan's law where we have to do the 4% up-front, so that helps that will increase the GRT and ensure payments. So we do want to make sure that all businesses are paying their fair share, paying the local taxes that are due to the island." 

According to a revenue enhancement report, the highest estimated revenue initiatives include capturing escape property tax assessments and additional improvements. Also, the recent five-year drivers license program is expected to bring in $300,000 in the next three years. Moving forward, Rev & Tax is optimistic the bond will sell.

Once sold, Benito estimates that ‘A'-status tax refunds totaling at least 95,000 checks will then need to be printed and distributed.

 

 

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