GOP proposal not needed to raise minimum wage, says Cruz - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GOP proposal not needed to raise minimum wage, says Cruz

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Vice Speaker BJ Cruz says plans by the Republican senators in the Guam Legislature to reduce the Gross Receipt Tax is unnecessary in order to move his minimum wage bill forward. It was yesterday when the minority senators announced plans to introduce a bill that would cut GRT by 5% to 3.8 points in order to keep the proposed minimum wage increase from backfiring. The GOP called their proposal a "balanced approach".

Said Cruz, "I object to the fact that they're attaching it and saying this is the only way it's going. But when you're trying to help thousands of families out there who are just trying to make it, all of sudden we have to give a tax break - if that's the only way that we're going to get this through, I'll probably have to swallow it and see it through."

It was yesterday when Governor Calvo supported the republican's efforts saying if both proposals are presented to him simultaneously, he would sign both into law. Cruz says between 2007 and 2009 when the minimum wage was increased, there was no loss of employment nor were there any decreases in hotel occupancy rates. He adds if there was an increase in prices, it's not a result of the minimum wage but instead the increases of fees at the port for shipping containers and cranes. He hopes to see a study at how reducing the GRT would impact the community.

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