COLA distribution smooth at Rev & Tax - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

COLA distribution smooth at Rev & Tax

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Aside from tax refunds, the government also processed approximately $17 million in cost of living allowance checks that were distributed at the Department of Revenue & Taxation today. The lines weren't nearly as long at the agency's Barrigada Heights headquarters as the island's malls passing out tax refunds checks, and neither was the wait time. 

With his COLA certificate in hand, Jesse Guerrero from Barrigada was pleased that after waiting a year for his COLA check, he spent less than ten minutes in line to get it. "I feel great," he proclaimed. "Spending money, Christmas and everything."

Ed from Yona, waited in line for his mother, who has been waiting several years for her COLA. He's glad that the money will finally be paid to help his mom and the economy, saying, "I mean, they should have thought about it for a long time, people who haven't received their cola in the past have suffered from just waiting. Fortunately now it's being given, so it helps." He added that the money couldn't come at a better time as family members from off-island are here visiting and the money will give them have a happier holiday.

Today's distribution however didn't go without any glitches. GovGuam Retirement Fund director Paula Blas admits that some retirees or their beneficiaries were turned away because they're names weren't on the list. "We actually have been receiving calls to verify if they're on the list for this distribution," she noted. "There were about 4,000 COLA recipients all together but over a period time, I believe, anybody with an initial COLA award of about $33,000 and below have been paid in full. So this is pretty much taking care of the rest of them that have balances with us."

Blas says about 1,900 checks were processed for distribution to pay principles plus interest. Those who won't be getting the COLA checks are those who have passed on and their estates and beneficiaries are going through probate.

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