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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Sen. Biscoe Lee hopes to blunt worst effects of new sales tax

Her bill would exempt food, medicine, diapers and other items

Senator Régine Biscoe Lee

The common criticism of sales taxes over many years is that they are regressive. In other words, persons with the lowest incomes have roughly the same requirements for food and other necessities as those with the highest incomes, resulting, effectively, in a tax on the poor.

According to a news release from Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee, "Many jurisdictions, including California, exempt from sales tax categories like these including certain food products for human consumption (many groceries), prescription medicine, and certain medical devices.

The 2-percent sales tax would take effect Oct. 1, allowing time for the adoption, review and legislative approval of the rules and regulations governing the administration of the new tax. It's apparently will be largely across the board as far as these necessities.

Sen. Lee's Bill 264-34 is "a follow-up to an amendment that she proffered in recent special sessions as tax increases were debated. "

This proposed amendment was passed by her colleagues in an earlier version of the tax increase bills, but did not make it into the final version of Bill 248-34 which passed and has been signed into law by the governor as Public Law 34-87.

Biscoe Lee voted against the tax increase bill, but she remains committed to finding ways to mitigate the impact of the implementation of the sales tax increase on Guam’s families."

“Although I voted against a sales tax," Biscoe-Lee said, "I hope to again secure the support of my colleagues for the Working Families Relief Act to ensure families can afford to buy these basic necessities. Just as other states have concluded, I believe we all can come together to strengthen and support our families by ensuring that groceries, diapers, medicine and feminine hygiene products be exempt from sales tax. Passing this bill will directly support and strengthen Guam’s families and the businesses who serve them."


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