DOI approves advance payment of Section 30 funds for Guam
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced the approval of $70.4 million in advance Section 30 payment for Guam.
The payment, which is scheduled to be remitted to Guam on Sept. 9, represents federal income tax for 2023.
Under Guam’s Organic Act, federal income taxes derived from active members of the U.S. Armed Forces and pensions paid to retired civilian and military employees or their survivors, who reside in Guam, are annually “covered-over” to the Guam Treasury to support the operations, activities and programs of the local government.
Through changes made under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, along with technical corrections made in U.S. Public Law 116-132 on March 26, 2020, some Section 30 funds had been set aside for the Guam World War II Claims Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
After failing to get the federal government to provide war claims compensation for WWII survivors on Guam, the local government carried the burden by creating a program that tapped the Section 30 funds.
Those whose claims had already been adjudicated by the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission received their payments through Section money in 2019.
However, several late filers were left out of the initial payment distribution, prompting the local government to build another $10 million program using the general fund.
On June 2, the Office of the Governor announced that the first batch of war claims payments, totaling $42,000, was issued through the Guam War Claims Processing Center. Another batch, totaling $86,000, was paid out the following week.
“Based on information received in August 2022 from the Treasury, it has been determined that OIA will no longer need to withhold additional funds for the Guam World War II Claims Fund,” DOI said
The federal government also approved the payment of $226 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands for rum tax "cover-over" payments.
“These funds are critical to the governments in both Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help address important needs," said Carmen G. Cantor, assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs.
" The Office of Insular Affairs is working closely with the Internal Revenue Service to provide accurate numbers for adjustment payments and ensure that we are abiding by current law in all calculations,” she added.