Won Pat working with Rev & Tax on property reevaluation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Won Pat working with Rev & Tax on property reevaluation

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - It was over a month ago when legislation was signed into law aimed at helping Rev & Tax move forward with improving its outdated valuation system. With millions expected to be derived from this venture, lawmakers are working to ensure the law is carried out swiftly.

Earlier this week, Speaker Judi Won Pat paid Rev & Tax a visit to see the progress of legislation she authored that would provide $1.4 million in escheated funds to aide in the department's real property revaluation. "And they're definitely on track - they should be putting out the advertisement for the RFP, and hopefully that maybe after a month or two then they'll do the evaluation and hopefully by January maybe they'll make the award," she explained.

Updating the real property valuation is considerably timely considering a recent scathing audit on DRT's real property taxes had identified $15.7 million in unrealized, lost and forgone tax revenues Won Pat says witnessing firsthand the work that will go into the valuation process was assuring. "So they really are on track and I'm happy to hear that because the next thing now is based on the money collected, those monies all go into the territorial education facilities fund which funds of course our schools and a large portion of that that we want to go is into Simon Sanchez High School whether it's a renovation or to build new," she said.

It was legislation also authored by Won Pat that would designate 7-million dollars derived from the real property valuation to the replacement or renovation of Simon Sanchez High School and other Guam DOE facilities along with GCC and UOG. Won Pat says the Yigo campus in particular has faced several challenges with its facilities from lack of air conditioners in classrooms to leaking roofs. She adds while the money won't be seen immediately, it's important to start the process as tackling on a venture as such takes time.

"We won't see for about a year, maybe a year and a half but the thing about this is once that's done already and the governor has demonstrated this is that when he went out to get a loan for the tax refunds, is they were able to hold back the first payments for a couple of years and that can be done as well in the high schools too," she said.

She further adds working with Rev & Tax along with DOE to coordinate all the details is critical as she does not want mistakes to occur whether its simply through renovating the shark's campus or building an entirely new one. Won pat in the meantime says she along with her colleagues in the Guam Legislature will be participating in the "Walk in the Shoes of a Shark Challenge" set for this Friday to experience first-hand the state of the schools learning conditions.

DRT meanwhile has completed close to a thousand properties as part of the valuation update. 

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