More pushback against general sales tax - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

More pushback against general sales tax

Posted: Jun 07, 2018 3:16 PM Updated:

Support is growing for the repeal of the 2% general sales tax, as more groups weigh in to express their opposition. And Lawmakers may decide soon whether to scrap the new tax, before it can even take effect.

A public hearing Tuesday on senator Michael San Nicolas' Bill 262 sets the stage for a possible repeal at this month's legislative session. In an earlier interview, San Nicolas expressed optimism about the measure, saying, "Based on some communications we've been having we may have the eight votes necessary to pass the bill, and we may in fact have the ten votes necessary for an override."

At the hearing, hotel and restaurant association president Mary Rhodes expressed what many in the business community are saying. She stated, "We do promote ourselves as a duty free destination. And we strongly felt, and I put out a cautionary tale to everybody that the fact that we're even considering that and making changes to our tax system without any economic data or studies is actually very reckless and irresponsible."

But the repeal does not sit well with the hospital and the education department which will directly benefit from the sales tax.

GMH medical director Dr. Vincent Duenas says without a dedicated funding source, the hospital will be back to its perennial budget woes, noting, "So we are facing a crisis. We are at a crossroads, and there is a price to pay. But what price do you put on the health care and lives of our people?"

The dates for the June legislative session have not yet been set. The sales tax is scheduled to take effect in October. 

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