- By Pacific Island Times News Staff
San Nicolas seeks federalization of local tax and borrowing laws
Senator Michael San Nicolas has introduced three resolutions seeking to petition the U.S. Congress to incorporate into the Organic Act of Guam three existing local laws on tax refund, tax increase and government borrowing.
Resolution No. 310-34 will petition Congress to federalize tax refund deposits as mandated by Public Law 26-74, authored by the late Sen. Ben Pangelinan.
San Nicolas, who is running for Guam delegate to Congress, believes that making this an Organic Act provision will ensure full compliance, resulting in faster tax refund payments and put an end to the need for borrowing bonds or going into deficit for this payment.
Resolution No. 311-34 will petition Congress to federalize the requirement that local tax increases be ratified by the people of Guam before taking effect, as intended under P.L. 24-22, authored by former Speaker Mark Forbes.
As an Organic Act provision, San Nicolas said, no local politicians can bypass this law, protecting the right of the people to vote on local tax increases, and ensuring that government funds are being used to the satisfaction of the people at-large.
Resolution No. 312-34 will petition Congress to federalize the requirement that increases in public debt greater than $25 million be ratified by the people of Guam before taking effect, as intended in P.L. 24-22. As an Organic Act provision, the government will not be able to put the people into further excessive debt without their vote of approval, unless for a State of Emergency.
The Organic Act has been amended in recent decades to restructure the Judiciary of Guam and to allow for an elected Attorney General.
"Local law already says that a public vote is required to increase local taxes or for the government to issue over $25 million in general obligation bond borrowing. Local law also says that the government is supposed to set aside enough money for tax refunds. Yet these laws are never followed because it is not in the Organic Act. These resolutions would directly petition Congress to amend the Organic Act and federalize these local laws," San Nicolas said.
"Speakers Mark Forbes and Ben Pangelinan introduced these laws to put people first in the financial decision-making of our Government, but politicians continue to ignore them. The only way to make these already existing laws ironclad is by putting them in the Organic Act and that is why I introduced these measures," he added.
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