DRT renews amusement device licenses against AG's advice - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DRT renews amusement device licenses against AG's advice

by Mindy Aguon

GUAM - The Department of Revenue and Taxation is taking a big gamble... By renewing amusement licenses that are set to expire at the end of this month. Rev and Tax director John Camacho said two months ago that the department would not renew the licenses but he says the odds changed when they appeared before lawmakers last month to discuss the licenses and whether they were in fact legal. Camacho is of the opinion that any machines registered on or before August 1, 2001 are legal and can be licensed.

 
"That regulation was promulgated by legislature and we're of the position that only those machines, any amusement devices registered after that thing, which a lot of people want to do, we're not doing it. In other words we're only following the regulation" Camacho revealed.
  
And since that hearing, Rev and Tax has renewed approximately 200 amusement devices. At 500 bucks a pop, the department has collected about 100 thousand dollars and the licenses last for one year.
 
The Attorney General's office is aware of the actions that were done against their advice. AG Leonardo Rapadas says the OAG will pursue any or all of our legal remedies available against the governor and DRT for violating the law.

It's déjà vu for the department, who five years ago, had been ordered to revoke the renewal of licenses for the devices that had been deemed progressive machines because they paid out cash. The case resulted in years of litigation that was dropped earlier this year with the consent of the AG's office that now wants to pursue litigation all over again. Camacho says he fully anticipates the matter going back to court.
 
Camacho explained, "If that's the position that they're saying that the regulation is I guess ineffective or didn't go through proper procedures, I guess they're gonna take legal action that's the AG's. Our position is that only those machines registered on or before August 1st, 2001, are the machines that we're allowing to be licensed or registered."
  
It's not just the AG's office that isn't happy with DRT's decision. Keep Guam Good spokesperson Jackie Marati says the organization is deeply disappointed with the decision. Marati says the matter is in the hands of Attorney General Lenny Rapadas to work with Rev and Tax and take any and all action necessary to correct this error committed by Rev & Tax in re-issuing the licenses.

The group is also calling on Vice Speaker BJ Cruz to repeal the relevant regulations and on U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco to investigate the potential seizure of the machines. Limtiaco was the attorney general at the time the licenses were first revoked five years ago.

 

 

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