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Cruz Calls for Independent Audit

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Vice Speaker BJ Cruz wants an independent audit to be conducted of 39 hotels and motels operating locally. The request follows receipt of information  through a FOIA request to the Department of Administration that confirms at least 10 hotels are delinquent in remitting hotel occupancy taxes (HOT).  Cruz says the hotels show a long history of delinquency in HOT remittance, owing $2.1 million in taxes.

The Vice Speaker plans to meet with the Department of Revenue and Taxation Director John Camacho as well as Committee Chair on Tourism, Senator Tina Muna Barnes about the independent audit. "I don't want to shut down hotels; I want to help protect the businesses that pay their taxes and play by the rules," Cruz stated.  "If your competitor doesn't pay his taxes every year and he is still allowed to operate, he's cheating you and everyone else in the industry; that is more than wrong—it's criminal," he added.

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