Senator Tommy Morrison says additional road repairs called for in the 2009 Village Streets Master Plan depend on voter approval of the fuel tax adjustment in 2018.
Senator Morrison is moving forward with Bill 122-34 (COR), which supports additional road repairs through a four cent adjustment in Liquid Fuel Tax rates over the next three years. Based on the input of some residents before, during and after a public hearing on the measure, and the reactions Senator Morrison received from most of his colleagues, the proposal will be subject to voter approval during the 2018 General Election. Therefore, the Department of Public Works will not have much needed resources to fix more roads that were identified in the latest list of projects submitted by mayors – as well as other projects in the Guam Village Streets Master Plan which was developed nearly ten years ago.
“I want to acknowledge those who have been very vocal on this issue, including some of my colleagues, for making it clear that more road repairs will need to wait for the outcome of the General Election in November of 2018. The community advocate and/or representative from Citizens for Public Accountability should also be recognized for participating in yesterday’s public hearing and for actually suggesting a ten cent increase instead. Regardless of the outcome of Bill 122, I’m confident that the community advocate and his well-organized group will work hard in the coming months to prepare an Initiative pursuant to Guam law so that the Liquid Fuel Tax may be increased by ten cents,” said Senator Morrison.
“I also recognize Guamanians who want more road repairs to begin well before next year’s election. Thank you for your phone calls, emails and messages via social media regarding the deplorable condition of our village streets – and for being open to paying an additional $6 a year now, so that more of our roads can be fixed soon. Unfortunately, there isn’t much the legislature can do to adjust Liquid Fuel Tax rates soon. Apparently, this situation also impacts the legislature’s ability to act on other measures including a bill which seeks to adjust another tax in order to support the critical needs of Guam’s only public hospital. Adjusting the Liquid Fuel Tax has never been the preferred solution to funding more road repairs, but some in our community including me, want to act now so that we have safer roads and we continue chipping away at the $746 million worth of projects waiting to be addressed.”
Senator Morrison will be forwarding a letter to Chairman Joe San Agustin of the Committee on Education, Finance and Taxation, requesting that the voter approval requirement (§16311 of 3GCA) be clearly stated as an amendment to Bill 122-34 (COR); and, that the measure and a committee report be prepared for consideration by the legislature as soon as possible.