Terlaje seeks community support for liquid fuel tax repeal



By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Speaker Therese Terlaje is seeking the community's support for Bill 261-36, which proposes to repeal Guanm's liquid fuel tax.

Terlaje, the bill's author, said the liquid fuel tax repeal would bring a savings of 23 cents per gallon to all individuals and businesses at the gas pumps.


The bill, which was publicly heard on April 7, is awaiting action from the appropriations committee.


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To address any confusion regarding the source of funding for the repeal, Terlaje requested an amendment to remove any reference to the American Rescue Plan or the federal infrastructure funds "for clarification, though they were never identified as a funding source in the bill."


The substitute version of the bill forwarded to the committee also reverts the proposed repeal of the 8-cent fuel tax for commercial aviation, which would reduce the overall fiscal impact of the measure to approximately $4 million for the remainder of fiscal 2022 and $8 million annually -- down from $10.5 million) moving forward.


The speaker is urging the community to contact the appropriations committee and urge action on the bill.

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Terlaje said Bill 261-36 did not repeal any of the current FY 2022 agency appropriations and the substitute bill added language to reiterate that FY 22 appropriations for agencies receiving funds from the fuel tax liquid would not be affected by the measure.


Terlaje was able to get Bill 261-36 onto the April session agenda as a potential item, however, the committee has not reported the measure out, thus, not allowing the bill to move forward onto the April legislative session agenda for action.


With approximately $143.9 million in excess revenues between FY 2019 and FY 2021 and the current fiscal year tracking at $68.4 in surplus, Terlaje said the government should be able to provide residents gas tax relief.


“It is clear to me that the people of Guam are looking to the legislature to help resolve some of the immediate and long-term economic issues facing our island and our families due to the rapidly increasing cost of fuel and food," the speaker said.


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"We need to prioritize our struggling families, most of whom were living paycheck to paycheck prior to the pandemic and are no longer able to stretch their money to the next payday," she added.


"These families are being hit the hardest and we must respond swiftly and decisively before we prioritize $5 million for capital improvement projects or other items that are not as timely as the needs of our residents. Bill 261-36 has the potential to assist all gas consumers on Guam, not just a select few.”



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