Calvo wary about viability of Judiciary bill - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Calvo wary about viability of Judiciary bill

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - While the committee chair on Judiciary Senator Frank Aguon Jr. has introduced legislation with good intent Governor Eddie Calvo is not too sure it will be viable.

While the governor says he's all for  finding ways to compensate what is owed to law enforcement personnel within the judicial branch of government he is not sure that Senator Aguon's bill is realistic. The bill proposes using withholding tax revenues as a mechanism to pay the raises. The Democrat lawmaker does this by adjusting the revenues in the fiscal year budget, saying, "But we also have to be realistic about the funding source as I've looked at the projections and how they came up with the funding source I just don't believe its viable. You do not raise revenues based on a singular event."

Governor Calvo says  the revenues that were calculated for this fiscal year came as a result of major calculations and working towards a number that is viable. He adds that faulty revenue projections in the past were the reason for tax refund delays, unpaid merit bonuses, and unpaid vendors. "That's why we have a $300 million deficit looking at this calculations [sic] need to work collaboratively towards a viable funding source.

Meanwhile Senator Aguon says their calculations are based on whether the Judiciary is able to implement the remaining 20% which he expects to result in $3.9 million in additional withholding taxes. "One of the things we recognize is that a result of that implementation that it will result in increased withholding taxes on these employees law enforcement personnel, I believe 800 of them within the Executive Branch," he said.

Senator Aguon says they looked at this figure and adjusted revenue projections slightly upward, but he understands the governor's concerns. "I understand the initial hesitation of the concern of the governor in terms of looking at this and saying perhaps it's not a viable tax revenues but keep in mind that this was not factored in as part of the anticipated withholding taxes on the part of the government budget process," he shared.

Senator Aguon adds this is new money that he has no doubt will result in additional withholding tax. The only question he says is how it will be allocated. 

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