by Jolene Toves
Guam - Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz has raised concern over whether the island's hotels are paying the required hotel occupancy taxes. In a letter to Rev & Tax director John Camacho, Cruz says at a recent lunch with leaders in the tourism industry, he was informed that as many as a dozen hotels are not remitting the hotel occupancy taxes they continue to charge guests. He further learned that the failure to do so could result in a loss of $10 million this fiscal year.
Cruz has asked Camacho to verify whether or not this claim is true and if so, how many hotels are in violation or delinquent and by how much. Camacho agrees with Cruz saying this obviously is a concern.
"We can certainly look into it and see if there's any of them that are not paying and again this is something my staff will look into and if people are not complying we will make them comply," he said.
Camacho adds the law requires a tax of 11% of the value of the hotel that is being occupied. Cruz adds in the event that the taxes have gone willfully uncollected, he asks Camacho whether any of the individuals have or will be referred to the attorney general for prosecution.