One plan put forth by Governor Calvo is to raise GRT from 4% to 6% (a 50% increase). GFT stands against regressive tax increases that burden the poor. When living paycheck to paycheck like half of the working force on Guam, this widens the income disparity between the rich and the poor. The working poor of this island already will face a hard time adjusting to fuel price increases and utility price increases. If any rates were to rise, look to luxury taxes instead. Somebody buying a car that is worth more than double than a base model can spend a little more on taxes. The only benefit of having a GRT increase in this manner is the immediacy of funds. If this were implemented, an expiry date must be added to allow some time for the government to trim its frivolous spending habits.
GFT has always been pushing to discontinue the Qualifying Certificates Program. The economic conditions have shifted over the years and economic markets have matured. Hotels and other types of businesses can survive without these programs in place. GFT acknowledges this recommendation as viable when introduced as an option by Governor Calvo.
GFT wants GovGuam to live within its means. This includes the cost of at least $14 million per year on having its agencies rent from private companies. The scenery at some of the office rental units rented by the Government are beautiful, but the finances of Guam are in dire need of cuts. The agencies need to work with the mayors and GDOE to identify existing government building structures around the island to use. If GDOE closes down a school due to this cash shortfall, then that should allow some agencies to move in with their rent going to GDOE’s fund.
Former Senator Bob Klitzkie, a founding member of GFT, proposed many great ideas on where to cut expenses for the Government of Guam during the public hearing of Bill 240-34. GFT looks forward to some legislative action based on his recommendations. Senator Michael San Nicolas has identified some areas where taxes are not paid on a timely manner. GFT looks forward to some solutions in addressing the millions lost in revenue.