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Keeping Our Commitment to Pay Tax Refunds

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Keeping Our Commitment to Pay Tax Refunds
By Acting Governor Ray Tenorio

Hafa Adai My Fellow Guamanians,
 
It's clear that not all of our leaders got the memo that a promise to pay tax refunds should be kept.  Today there will be a public hearing on two pieces of legislation:  one that will help pay your refunds on time…  and another that could keep your hard earned tax refunds from your pockets, once again.
 
Certain members of the legislature want to treat our community to another political circus.  For some reason, even after we informed the island that we have financial solutions to build public schools, Sen. Pangelinan wants to use the remainder of the bond to fund public school capital improvement projects.
 
But… making improvements to our school facilities does not change the fact that we will still owe tax refunds to you.  This good faith in education does not erase the interest that will grow from this debt…
 
I understand this is an election year. People are going to jockey for the limelight. Incumbents who went back on their promises will use this year as an opportunity to make up for it with banter.  They'll try and draw the distinction that one group of leaders cares more about tax refunds than they do about education.
 
Don't be fooled, my fellow Guamanians.  Every single one of your leaders cares about education and is committed to making our schools a top priority.  Some of your lawmakers are among the dozens of concerned citizens who joined the education task force.  They're part of a growing group of hardworking individuals with careers, families and other responsibilities who are taking time out of their schedules to join this important movement. 
 
They're meeting after work and weekends with the education task force to discuss the problems of our education system… and they're working together to develop creative solutions to improve education.
 
We can improve education together… and we will.  We can improve our government's finances together… and this administration, Sen. Respicio and his 11 colleagues will hold true to our promise to you…  to pay your tax refunds…  and to pay them on time.
           
Senator Pangelinan's Bill 414 is not an indication of whether or not we want to improve our students' classrooms.  We all want what's best for our students and their futures.  Bill 414 was legislation produced in a race for the most attention in an election year.
 
But now is not the time for politics…  and it's disheartening to know that these very important issues – education and your money – are being used for unnecessary political debate.
 
There doesn't need to be another fight to pay you… your hard earned tax refunds.
 
Now is the time for us to stay on course with our fiscal stabilization efforts.  Building a stronger future requires paying our obligations on time now…
 
I urge you all to let your voices be heard today…
 
Si Yu'os Ma'ase and may God bless you and your families.
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