- By Gina T Reilly
Aguon: Roll back fuel tax hike
Noting that taxpayers have had enough tax burden to bear, Sen. Frank B. Aguon Jr.is seeking a rollback of the liquid fuel tax increase, which was implemented last year to create a new revenue source to fund road construction and repairs.
Aguon on Wednesday introduced Bill 270-34, proposing the repeal of Public Law 34-44, which raised liquid fuel tax by 04 cents.
While revenue for the fuel tax raise has been collected, Aguon said the funds have not been appropriated for use.
Without using the revenues from the increase in liquid fuel taxes, Aguon said the legislature appropriated $1.8 million from the Fiscal Year 2018 budget besides $2 million in federal funding specifically designated for road improvements. The funds appropriated to the Department of Public Works allows the agency to begin work on 19 village road improvements.
“I understand the intent of the law and the importance of a dedicated funding source to fix secondary and tertiary roads in our villages,” said Aguon, a gubernatorial candidate.. “However, we have a funding source that our people have already been paying for, that is dedicated to our village roads but it has been diverted to other areas of our government through no fault of our people. With that said, prioritizing funding for road improvements without asking our people to pay additional taxes is achievable.”
Repealing Public Law 34-44 would restore the liquid fuel tax rates that existed prior to the enactment of this law. A tax rate of $0.14 cents per gallon on diesel fuel will be restored to $0.10 cents per gallon; a tax rate of $0.15 cents per gallon on all other liquid fuel will be restored to $0.11 cents per gallon; and a tax rate of $0.08 cents per gallon on liquid fuel used for commercial aviation purposes will be restored to $0.04 cents per gallon.
“I introduced Bill No. 270-34 in response to many people in the community who have expressed their concern with the barrage of tax increases, and this includes the increase in gas prices. We must not tax our people to the point where they can no longer move freely throughout Guam. Repealing the increase of $0.04 cents to the liquid fuel tax will benefit young adults, retirees, and working class families the most,” Aguon said..
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