Tax refunds case argued before Supreme Court - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Tax refunds case argued before Supreme Court

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Some heated moments in the Supreme Court over the tax refund case. The decision now rests in the hands of the Justices.

A clear interpretation and application of the Organic Act and what constitutes the affirmative vote of the Guam Legislature...That's what the administration wants to find out. Governor's Legal Counsel, Sandra Miller said, "What Guam law says is you need eight. You just need an absolute number of eight. You can't have less than eight. You can have more but you can't have less than eight. Well, what happens when you have a quorum and you have eight senators? They have a quorum. Do you need a unanimous vote? And is a unanimous vote a majority vote? No. And that's where we have a clear problem. We have a conflict."

Calvo filed suit earlier this year with the Supreme Court against the lawmakers for what they believe is an attempt to block the administration from using the TRAN or Tax Revenue Anticipation Note - which would allow a $75 million credit line to speed up the payment of tax refunds.

"The legislature was called in to special session and did absolutely everything that the governor compelled it to do that was within the governor's comfort and authority," she added.

As KUAM reported, the TRAN bill, went before special session where it received 7 votes for passage, 6 senators voted no, whiles 2 were excused. According to the Legislature's Standing Rules - eight votes are needed for any bill to pass. The  Governor, however, contends the Organic Act trumps those rules. It states that a majority vote is all that is needed for legislation to go through.

However, the legislature's legal counsel Julian Aguon argues, saying, "Of every step of the way the governor has been attempting to strong arm the legislature in this case to pass this bill now and now to challenge a half a century old practice that every actor has acquiesced to include the governor himself when he's been acting speaker."

"I think that's very dangerous and that's something that the legislature is truly concerned about."

He also argued there's been no delay these past couple of months and no harm done in getting tax refunds paid in the absence of the TRAN bill.

But, Miller isn't buying it and says the administration will not fold, saying, "This is the type of issue that cause undue delay. We will be back because if this does not get resolved now. A different administration and a different legislature will bring it up again."

We now wait for a written decision to come down.

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