Cruz wants tax credit audit in lieu of cash payment program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Cruz wants tax credit audit in lieu of cash payment program

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz wants the Office of Public Accountability to conduct an audit of the tax credit in lieu of cash payment program. According to the vice speaker it's a program the OPA has deemed dormant. Cruz says in order to confirm or dispel rumors he's heard in the community about the program, he filed a Freedom of Information Act with Rev & Tax seeking a list of all recipients of tax credits under the program. 

DRT responded that it's unable to provide the listing under tax statutes. "So if its been dormant and its supposed to be dormant then the easy response from rev and tax would have been 'we have none, we have not done any compensation with tax credits for commendation that was not their answer, their answer was long, evasive," said Cruz.

The program was enacted into law in 1977. It provides tax credits to a landowner whose real property had been acquired by the Government of Guam when it cannot make cash payment due to the unavailability of funds. The law also instructed the director of rev and tax to formulate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the law.  Cruz says he plans to introduce legislation to repeal the program and to revoke or void tax credits issued under this 30 year old law."

Just as Vice Speaker BJ Cruz called for the audit of the tax credit in lieu of cash payment program in order to clear speculation that millions in tax credits have been granted to certain Layon landowners, the   Department of Administration has responded. DOA director Benita Manglona says the Administration is paying this liability down using tax credits in lieu of cash. she says they decided to do  after looking at the interest that kept growing and that payments were made in order to prevent taxpayers from being liable for even more. she goes on to say "This is a great vehicle to use to pay down debt, and thankfully landowners agreed to be paid with tax credits instead of cash, at least for now. And unlike the Vice Speaker's unqualified statements that are not backed up by any evidence or data whatsoever, we do not have an untenable or precarious cash situation. Our cash situation is just fine, thanks to our hard work to get the government's finances in order." Manglona says she hopes neither Cruz or anyone else is suggesting we ignore our bills as that's the kind of attitude that caused the backlog of tax refunds when this administration first came into office. As we reported in October 2012 GovGuam was ordered by the court to pay over $25 million to Layon landowners. Since the court order $110,000 in interest has been accruing every single month.

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