Customs collects $49.5M in excise tax

FINANCE Secretary Larrisa Larson said the Division of Customs Service collected $49.5 million in excise tax in fiscal year 2017, which is $5 million more than the projected collections.

Larrisa Larson
“That’s the biggest collection since I became department secretary,” she told reporters.

“I’m really proud of them,” she said, referring to Customs personnel. She attributed the improved collections to the effective enforcement of the law and an improving economy.

She said for a long time they were not meeting their projections “because we were in a bad fiscal state.”

The administration, she added, will remain focused on economic recovery which will allow the government “to pay our debts, our bills, and catch up with our obligations.”

In a separate interview, Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres said his administration will allocate $1 million for Customs so it can purchase a mobile scanner.

The governor said he will continue to provide Customs with the equipment it needs so it can further improve its collections and enforcement of the law.

Customs Director Jose C. Mafnas said with new equipment and more personnel, they expect to collect more revenue in the next fiscal year.

“We appreciate the governor’s support — he has been very supportive and he understands that we need to be adequately equipped at the ports of entry,” he said.