Guam’s Delegate to Washington D.C. has introduced a bill in Congress that would create a federal law requiring the local government to pay tax refunds within 90 days of tax returns being filed.
This is the second of Del. Michael San Nicolas’ intended federal law that would effect local government operations, which have drawn some sharp criticism from local leaders. He also had proposed an amendment that would require a referendum before the implementation of any tax increase on the island. The governor called the referendum proposal “an affront to our locally elected Legislature and the powers granted to it through Guam's Organic Act.” She said such an amendment “clearly undermines our authority to decide how we govern ourselves.”
Recently, San Nicolas said his proposals are what precipitated allegations of misused campaign funds.
According to San Nicolas, HR 4262 specifically requires the Government of Guam to process and pay a tax refund within 90 days of its individual filing, as opposed to the court order to pay within 6 months from the deadline to file.
"This section basically means that if you filed a proper tax return in February, you will get paid in May, as opposed to waiting months longer up to the court deadline in October," San Nicolas stated in the press release.
Additionally, HR 4262 compels the Government of Guam to follow its own local law with respect to making deposits into the Income Tax Refund Efficient Payment Trust, using the formulas adopted in the annual budget of the Government of Guam.
"This second section entwines local law with the Organic Act with respect to how funds are set aside for tax refunds," San Nicolas said. "This drafting enables the local government to control the formulas they wish to establish, but it compels the Administration to follow the local law rather than be shielded by the executive authority over how they handle cash," Congressman San Nicolas explains. "This structure ensures that local legislators are not let off the hook but rather empowered to compel the level of tax refund funding they ultimately are responsible for," Congressman San Nicolas added.
"Altogether, HR 4262 will ensure our people get paid for a timely filing, while our local government is empowered to compel the money be made available as currently prescribed by local law," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.
The Office of Congressman San Nicolas will apprise the people of Guam as to the progress of HR 4262 as it moves procedurally through the U.S. House of Representatives.