Administration proposes sales, luxury taxes

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THE $82.6 million revised fiscal year 2021 budget submitted by the administration also proposes tax measures that aim to raise over $15 million.

These include a 2% sales tax, which is estimated to generate $5.8 million; a 5% luxury tax to raise $3.4 million; a sin tax to raise $3.3 million; and a $1 increase in the tobacco tax to raise $2.2 million.

These tax hike proposals were among those discussed during the fiscal summit in April, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said.

He said the administration is also asking the Legislature for flexibility in reprogramming authority during austerity times as the government responds to emergencies, including the current public health situation.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ original FY2021 budget proposal amounted to $70.6 million, but this went up to $82.6 in the revised budget after certain earmarks were suspended.

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Ivan Blanco said in an interview that they will meet today, Monday, and conduct a series of hearings with government agencies in the following weeks.

“The committee will review these revisions and provide its recommendation(s) to the full body at the soonest time possible,” Blanco said.

In his transmittal letter, Palacios told Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao and Senate President Victor Hocog that the administration encourages all lawmakers to work closely with the administration in “assessing existing revenue streams and new revenue-generating measures [and] to ensure [that] fees to be imposed will address development impact and cost recovery expectations.”





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