Guam News - Guam News
Guam - Although a pending lawsuit is preventing them from giving out any specifics as to how much money is still owed for tax refunds the administration and the Guam Economic Development Authority are confident that GovGuam can float the series “B” bond and have tax refunds ready by June.
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The lawsuit filed by Rea Paeste, Jeffrey F. Paeste and Sharon M. Zapanta against the government of Guam for not paying out tax refunds is preventing local officials from talking about any specifics with regards to the exact amount of tax refunds that are still owed. "There's not too much that I can say about it because of the ongoing litigation but information that's already been made to the public is that the governor and fiscal team advisers will be leaving to San Francisco to meet with bond rating agencies that's in an effort to push for the lowest rating possible that will happen at the end of this month,” explained the governor's director of communications Troy Torres.
Guam Economic Development Authority Administrator Karl Pangelinan says they will be meeting with S&P and Fitch which are the two rating agencies that gave Guam an A and A minus rating for the last bond. "We expect sort of the same reaction a lot of it is really just going to be a lot of updates to the ratings community and I think the updates will have some good news to tell them I think the stories gonna be good in terms of visitor arrivals the uplift in arrivals as well as the uplift in hotel occupancy tax revenues I think that just the regular general fund revenues is also on the rise,” explained Pangelinan. In fact the GEDA administrator says they expect the same ratings or even better. "We're targeting pricing on the last week of may with the closing on the first week of June so right now with the way the finance schedule is laid out we're anticipating closing no later than the first week of June and by closing that means cash in the bank." However, even though the money will be in the bank the refund checks won't be cut right away. "There's a couple of things in front of the tax refunds we need to take care of first is the re-payment of the retirement fund I think that's to the tune of $25.2 million and then after that is the health insurance premium which is roughly about $18.3 so the balance of the proceeds that we get I mean that first dollar after we pay the first two things will go towards the unpaid tax refunds,” said Pangelinan. According to Torres the administration is anticipating paying out anywhere between $50 to $60 million dollars worth of tax refunds sometime in the month of June.
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