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    Monday, October 15, 2018-7:47:33A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Call for reconsideration of Guam Bill 257-34

(Press Release) — Rep. Ivan Blanco issued the following statement on Thursday:

Ivan Alafanso Blanco

“On behalf of my constituents, I respectfully call upon The Honorable Benjamin J.F. Cruz, Speaker of the 34th Guam Legislature, and the bill’s author, The Honorable Telena Nelson, Senator, to reconsider entertaining Bill No. 257-34.

“The bill proposes to levy tax on the transshipment of fuel through the port of Guam that is intended for ports in the CNMI, FSM, Palau, and RMI.  Currently, Guam statute, that has been in place for three decades, exempts the imposition of tax on transhipped fuel through the port of Guam destined for the sister islands in the Micronesian Region.

“While I respect the bill’s intent to raise critically needed funding for public services to benefit the people of Guam and for safety at the Guam port, the $4.5million estimated to be realized through imposing this transhippment tax will be minimal compared to the far reaching and deep ramifications on the economies of the CNMI, FSM, RMI, and Palau. Not to mention the future effects of further migrations to Guam from these sister islands because of the ill effects this bill will certainly place on the fragile economies of our region.

“Short term economic gains at the expense of your neighbors and friends is a solution that benefits no one in the end. I view this act as a step backwards for the advancement of our region and our competitiveness in the world.

“Furthermore, I strongly feel this bill is inconsistent with the goal that we should work together for our common benefit, rather than on what will be harmful to each island jurisdiction.

“I join the members of the Micronesian Islands Forum and members of the Association of the Pacific Islands Legislatures in respectfully calling upon The Honorable BJ Cruz and members of the 34th Guam Legislature to reconsider entertaining Guam Bill No. 257-34.”