Guam - $15 million in unrealized, lost and forgone tax revenues - those were the findings of an audit by the Office of Public Accountability of the Department of Revenue & Taxation's real property taxes.
The lost revenue is comprised of $14 million from the outdated valuation system, $1.6 million in escaped assessments and $57,000 due to a lack of interface between Public Works and Land Management. The audit further identified $858,000 in questioned costs.
Other areas in the audit showed that DRT is not using current market values to assess residential property values and that Guam has one of the lowest property tax rates and among the lowest in property values. Among the list of recommendations from the OPA include working with lawmakers to enact legislation that allows DRT to utilize current market values, placing a moratorium on senior citizens and home exemptions until the reappraisal is updated and issuing a request for proposal for the valuation reappraisal.
To read the entire report, go to GuamOPA.org.