Del. Michael San Nicolas has announced that his office is preparing a second amendment to the Organic Act “to compel the deposit of tax refunds” into the Guam Income Tax Refund Efficient Payment Trust Fund.
The deposits are already required by Guam law but San Nicolas said in a release, “the law to deposit tax refunds has not been followed for many years.”
Currently, the government of Guam is short $21 million in required deposits into the tax refund account.
The delegate said tax refunds this year are “flowing to their slowest pace in years.” He accused local politicians of being “complicit in their silence.”
"We can either slip further backward, or we can compel these deposits once and for all in the Organic Act and solve this problem for our people," San Nicolas said in his release.
This is the second proposal made by the delegate in the past week that would trump local law by amending the Organic Act, which is federal legislation that supersedes Guam law.
On Tuesday, he proposed an amendment that would require a referendum before the implementation of any tax increase on the island, noting that the local law hasn’t been followed for decades.
San Nicolas announced his referendum proposal on his Facebook page on Tuesday following Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s remarks Monday about keeping the higher business privilege tax at 5% “forever.”
The governor fired back, calling San Nicolas’ 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.”
As of press time, the governor had not responded to the delegate’s second proposed amendment.