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Reevaluation of real property is paying dividends

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While the deadlines have long past, the Department of Revenue & Taxation is making efforts to not only address the over 13,000 people and businesses who are behind on their real property taxes, but the hundreds of others who are also appealing the updated values.

While it hadn't been done in nearly two decades, agency director John Camacho says he believes the recent revaluation of real property on Guam has overall been positive. "There is success because the outcome of this revaluation is the additional revenues that we'll be getting out of this revaluation," he said. In fact, Camacho says the department's assessment pegs about $32 million in revenue from the new property values - a nearly $10 million increase from previous years. Nearly 800 people however don't necessarily agree as they have since filed appeals with DRT. These appeals were formally presented to the board of equalization for the first time during a meeting earlier this month.

"And I believe they'll be entertaining those appeals in the near future and to my understanding the board will be meeting sometime in August to continue looking at those appeals," said Camacho.

He does add that about 50 appeals have been resolved so far. As for others who might want to contest the updated values, legislation was recently passed by lawmakers to reopen the period for appeals. "And if they feel the revaluation values have not met their satisfaction - they feel the values may be a lot lesser or even more, they have that additional time to come in up to December 31 this year," he continued.

Camacho says he supports the measure and hopes Governor Eddie Calvo will sign it into law. In the meantime, the department is addressing the over 13,000 names of individuals and businesses who were recently published on the real property tax delinquent list for 2014. He does however note some complaints have come in from property owners who did make payments but names were still listed.

"And some of the issues involve tax years, and basically we're working with our vendor and also even with the banks, because a chunk of these real properties are paid by the banks, so some of them are basically involve tax years and some of them may involve entering a certain number wrong," he said.

The total delinquent taxes are estimated at $5.5 million - the highest of which is for $425,000 listed for Guam Hotel Okura. Since the list came out, Camacho says about $313,000 have been paid by property owners. As for those who have yet to make a payment, they have until July 6 or risk the property being sold to the Government of Guam.

You can view the complete list of real property delinquent list on www.guamtax.com

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