by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Government of Guam has requested additional time to submit a permanent injunction to the District Court relative to the ongoing tax refund class action lawsuit. A proposed permanent injunction was supposed to be filed with the court today but the plaintiff's proposal is still under review by government officials. Attorney Ignacio Aguigui confirms that the plaintiffs submitted its proposal to the government but has not received a response. Aguigui represents Jeffrey and Rea Paeste and Sharon Zapanta and taxpayers who want the court to force the government to pay tax refunds out in a timely manner and fairly.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs are seeking to require the government to pay tax refunds within six months after a return is filed.
Department of Administration Director Benita Manglona however expressed concerns to the court that the proposed injunction fails to address Guam's obligations to pay the $30 million to $40 million owed for tax returns already filed and the $105 million projected shortfall for payment of 2012 tax returns.
While the administration convened a fiscal team to formulate a plan on how Guam can begin to pay refunds promptly and still meet its financial obligations, a plan has not yet been finalized.
Manglona noting that the main impediment to developing a plan has been the insufficient cash available to meet all current year expenditures, unpaid prior year obligations and unpaid tax refunds.
The government has asked that the court extend the deadlines and
that the government provide a response to the plaintiffs proposed permanent
injunction by October 12 with negotiations to be held between October
12-19. If they are unable to reach an
agreement they will ask the court to assist with a proposed findings of fact
and injunction by November 2.