Pair of bills seek to repeal
Guam’s Gross Receipts Tax
Legislation proposed by senators Klitzkie, Lujan want GRT back to 4%
by Jason Salas, KUAM News
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Members of the legislative Committee on Economic Development convened,
along with more than 60 of Guam's notable businesspeople and private individuals
for a special public hearing.
A pair of bills seeking to repeal increases in the island's gross receipts
tax were drafted, and bills 44 and 54, introduced by Republican senators
Jesse Anderson Lujan and Robert Klitzkie, respectively, were both short
and to the point, calling for the drawback of Public Law 27-5. Of note
was Senator Klitzkie's bill...being only a single sentence.
This brevity, according to the senator, underscores the need for an immediate
and obvious solution. The initiatives were backed by 11 businessmen and
citizens, who read prepared statements citing both specific and general
instances throughout Guam's various industries wherein increases in GRT
have already and will continue to cause damaging economic effects.
Guam Federation of Teachers Union Chair Matt Rector, the sole supporter
in attendance of the tax hike, acknowledges that his is a minority opinion,
but believes pragmatism is better for the island's economy in the long-run.
He told KUAM News, “Currently Guam is the lowest taxed place in
the nation. It's also the most business-friendly place in the nation.
Even with the 2% increase in GRT, we're still the lowest taxed place in
"Times are tough...of course, governments need to reorganize, and
of course, we're working on it really hard. But the business community
needs to pickup and do their fair share. Let's face facts: a 2% increase
means $0.02 on the dollar. $0.02 on the dollar? That's nothing. Everybody
can afford $0.02 on the dollar. The businesspeople just don't want it
to cut into their profit. And, it's time for them to pay their fair share.”
Additionally, Republican Senator Ray Tenorio commented on his past proposal
to not just repeal the increase, but further to permanently lower the
Gross Receipts Tax to 3%. “I think the reducing of the GRT is going
to be much more advantageous not only to the island, but also to the consumers
to the people, the businesses and the government. I think that if the
businesses can afford to pay GRT at 3%, which is much more palatable right
now (considering the economic condition in Asia and the world), it's going
to be easier for the government to collect.”
Tenorio's proposal was previously turned down, with all democrats rejecting
the pitch. The two proposed bills will soon be up for vote by your senators.
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