Revenue enhancements are focus of session - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Revenue enhancements are focus of session

Posted: Aug 07, 2018 5:04 PM Updated:

Day 7 of the Budget Battle saw senators back to talking about "revenue enhancements." This time they voted to raise the tobacco tax, which will generate another $9 million in extra money to help address health-related costs associated with smoking.

Senator Joe S. San Agustin is proposing to raise the tax on cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, a provision first proffered by Speaker Benjamin J. Cruz in the original budget bill more than a week ago. He said, "But I'm glad Senator San Agustin made the motion. I'm hoping that my inability to get my amendments through earlier was just the messenger and not the message.

"It does two things, it becomes a disincentive to smoking and it becomes a tool to by which we are able to raise some additional money to help balance this budget."

Senator Louise Muna explains her support, shared by many of her colleagues, noting, "I'm just hoping and crossing my fingers that maybe a slight rise in the cost of doing something this harmful to their bodies will deter them from doing it."

The amendment increases the tax from $15 to $20 per 100 cigarettes with the proceeds going to the Healthy Futures Fund.

Senators have also voted to increase the real property tax on million dollar or more structural improvements, and to permanize the 5 percent business privilege tax. They also approved slashing the budgets for the Governor's Office, Rev & Tax, and the administration department forcing them to collect past due taxes to fully fund their operations.

The revenue enhancements, along with the budget cuts, are designed to bridge a $138 million dollar shortfall from the Trump tax reforms.

While the tobacco tax increase passed, another amendment by Senator San Agustin to also raise the tax on alcohol failed.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Medicinal marijuana forms available on Tuesday

    Medicinal marijuana forms available on Tuesday

    The Permit forms for Home grown medicinal marijuana will be available starting Tuesday. The Public Health department says the forms are available on its website: www.dphss.guam.gov. Forms can also be picked up at Public Health's main office in Mangilao frMore >>
    The Permit forms for Home grown medicinal marijuana will be available starting Tuesday. The Public Health department says the forms are available on its website: www.dphss.guam.gov. Forms can also be picked up at Public Health's main office in Mangilao frMore >>
  • Families turn to social media after car thefts

    Families turn to social media after car thefts

    Two separate families reached out through social media posts over the weekend after each were victims of stolen vehicles. It was a double hit for one family, where two vehicles stolen from their home were found soon after near Marbo Cave. Both vehicles apMore >>
    Two separate families reached out through social media posts over the weekend after each were victims of stolen vehicles. It was a double hit for one family, where two vehicles stolen from their home were found soon after near Marbo Cave. Both vehicles apMore >>
  • Opening statements heard in major drug case

    Opening statements heard in major drug case

    The re-trial for a couple accused in a major drug investigation started today in the District Court of Guam. Raymond Martinez and Juanita Moser are accused of trying to smuggle eight pounds of the drug, ICE, from California to Guam in 2015. Both the proseMore >>
    The re-trial for a couple accused in a major drug investigation started today in the District Court of Guam. Raymond Martinez and Juanita Moser are accused of trying to smuggle eight pounds of the drug, ICE, from California to Guam in 2015. Both the proseMore >>
Powered by Frankly