GovGuam's $105 million revenue surplus depleted due to overappropriations
Updated: Nov 22
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The government of Guam ended fiscal year 2022 with a surplus of $105.1 million, which has since been over-appropriated by the legislature for utility and hospital subsidies, according to the Office of Public Accountability.
The OPA said GovGuam has managed to cut the government deficit by maximizing the use of federal funds, which have flowed into Guam in large streams since the Covid-19 pandemic. The OPA also noted an increase in revenues, which it attributed to increased tax collections.
The revenue surplus, however, has been depleted. Four appropriation laws that drew from this funding source incurred a total amount of $113.7 million, exceeding the available funds.
The excess revenues have been earmarked for the following appropriation laws:
P.L. 36-107: $25.9 million for Guam Memorial Hospital and miscellaneous items;
P.L. 36-123: $26.4 million for the extension of Prugråman Ayuda Para I Taotao-Ta Energy Credit Program.
P.L 37-16: $15.6 million for the new extension of the energy credit program.
P.L. 37-43: $30 million for GMH to cover the hospital’s outstanding obligations to vendors and the cost of emergency building repairs.
Not included in the OPA’s audit was the $15.8 million in new appropriation for the fourth extension of the energy credit program, which Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed into law last week.
For 2022, the government reported revenue of $850.2 million, an increase of $67.8 million from the prior fiscal year’s $782.4 million.
Correspondingly, the general fund reported expenditures of $748.7 million, a slight decrease of $2.1 million from 2021 expenditures totaling $750.8 million, the OPA said.
“In FY 2022, the general fund generated an excess of revenues over expenditures of $100.8 million. For the last four years, the administration placed emphasis on maximizing federal revenues, reducing costs previously borne by the general fund. This effort is the biggest single contribution to the deficit reduction,” the OPA said.
The audit found that general fund revenues of $814 million were higher than estimated collections of $699.7 million.
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“The net increase of $114.3 million is primarily attributable to income tax and gross receipts tax collections of $53.4 million and $36.6 million, respectively, above budget. Revenues have been under-budgeted since FY 2019,” the OPA said.
“GovGuam’s total net position for FY 2022 decreased by $122.3 million (or 5 percent) from a negative $2.464 billion in the prior year to a negative $2.342 billion. This was primarily attributable to revenues for governmental activities of $1.893 billion exceeding expenses for governmental activities of $1.776 billion,” the audit report said.
The OPA found that program revenues decreased by $210 million (or 17.4 percent) from the previous fiscal year.
“The change was primarily due to a decrease, compared with the prior year, in operating grants and contributions recognized as revenues. Conversely, general revenues increased by $71.2 million (or 8.6 percent) from the previous fiscal year,” the OPA said.
The change was attributed to an increase in income taxes of $19.7 million (or 5.6 percent); gross receipts taxes of $30.3 million (or 10.2 percent); Section 30 federal income tax collections of $11 million (or 16.9 percent); and other taxes and revenues of $10.1 million (or 9.2 percent).