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  Dear Friends:

The first real and meaningful reform to the Government of Guam from the 27th Guam Legislature is already producing results.

The Pacific Daily News reported on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 ( for story click here: http://www.bobsoffice.org/bobinthenews/october2003/100803.html ) that $238,000 will be used to purchase learning resources for public school libraries.

As you may recall, in February during budget discussion, Speaker Pangelinan and I championed reforming the Passport Office. We wrote a floor amendment that transferred all operations of the Passport Office to the Department of Revenue and Taxation.

Read the floor amendment here:
http://www.bobsoffice.org/bobslegislation/bobslegislation/passportsectpl2705.html

Fees collected from issuing passports were deposited into the “Tax Collection Enhancement Fund.” Half of the fees were to be used to employ Tax Technicians, Revenue Agents, Revenue Officers and for other related expenses in order to increase collection of taxes; fees were also to be used for the salaries of employees serving as Passport Acceptance Agents – only two to be transferred from the current Passport Office. Additional Passport Acceptance Agents will be “cross-trained” from within the Department of Revenue and Taxation to enhance efficiency.

Speaker Pangelinan and I added a provision to create and appropriate the other half of the fees to the “Public School Library Resources Fund.” All moneys deposited into this fund will be spent for the enhancement of learning resources and technology within the Public School Libraries, including, but not limited to, the purchase of computer equipment for the direct use of students, resources, subscriptions, periodical materials and other library supplies and materials that directly benefit the students. This fund will be kept in a separate bank account and administered by the Guam Education Policy Board.

The Director of the Department of Revenue and Taxation has estimated that for every $30,000 in resources to his department, an additional $800,000 in back tax revenue can be collected. If an estimated $500,000 is deposited into the Tax Collection Enhancement Fund, $13 million in back tax revenue could potentially be collected.

Last year the Guam Passport Office’s expenses were about a quarter of a million dollars and its collections from passport fees were about $750,000. This fiscal year, collections from passport fees are estimated to be one million dollars.

The reform could save the Government of Guam a substantial amount of money in expenses, could generate millions to the government in additional tax collection, as well as providing more resources for school libraries.

Please give me a call or e-mail me to discuss this issue or any other issues on your mind. I’m interested in your thoughts and ideas.

Sincerely,
Bob

 
 
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