Executive Branch's financials scrutinized - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Executive Branch's financials scrutinized

Posted: Aug 08, 2018 4:06 PM Updated:

In Day 8 of the Battle of the Budget, Senators spent the session in an agency-by-agency review of the Executive Branch budget appropriations. The previous week was spent debating tax increases to make up for the revenue lost from the Trump tax reforms.

They also approved slashing the budgets of the Governor's Office, Rev & Tax, and the Department of Administration, and forcing the three to collect about $18 million in unpaid previous year taxes.  

But Senator Jim Espaldon warns of potential problems about relying on a non-guaranteed funding source, saying, "So I believe the funding source even if it may be in law that it has to come out of DOA, or DOA has to pay it, it probably has to come from someplace that has a guaranteed funding source. And that's the concern that I raise, because we have changed where DOA will get the majority of their appropriations from."

"Again, because of the vital nature of DOA and the central operations of this government, I'm just saying it could definitely hurt."

The budget bill currently contains three provisions that increase taxes: It makes permanent the 5 percent Business Privilege Tax, it increases the real property tax on improvements of a million dollars or more, and it increases the tobacco tax from $15 to $20 on every 100 cigarettes. That amounts to an increase of $1 per pack.

GovGuam faces a $138 million revenue shortfall created by the Trump tax reforms.

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