Vice Speaker Cruz wants debt ceiling reduced as Guam’s debt reaches $1.5Billion

With Guam’s mounting debt that has reached $1.5 billion, Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz has introduced a Bill 205-33 on Nov. 3 that will reduce the current debt ceiling of the Government of Guam. The bill will also ensure that any future proposal that would increase the dent of the government of Guam be dealt with separately and apart from the issue of raising the debt ceiling.

He also pointed out that apart from reducing the current debt ceiling it should be also separated from any bonds or debts authorized by the Guam Legislation that may arise in the future.

Vice speaker Benjamin Cruz proposed that a new computation to get the debt ceiling should be the 10% of the 77% assessed real estate value in lieu of the previous Law which is 10% of the total appraised value or 10% of the 100% land appraisal.

“A higher debt ceiling resulting from the real property revaluation doesn’t mean an improved ability or position to repay new debt,” Cruz was reported as saying in an interview by the local press.

The latest appraisal on March 14, 2015 of Guam’s taxable land and assets including development reached $16,973,805,644.00. According to the existing law, the debt ceiling should be computed to and from the 100% land assessment value.

Guam Economic and Development Authority or GEDA has issued last October 7 a debt abstract which computed the debt ceiling of Guam amounting to $1,697,380,564.40 or the 10% of the 100% land assessment appraisal.

Vice Speaker Cruz is determined to have the bill approved. He said that any continued attempt to place the government of Guam on further debt may be detrimental to the payment of income tax refunds. Vice Speaker Cruz’ intent is to allow the Government of Guam to use the budget on appropriate government projects and control its debt and that should be decided by the legislation and the people of Guam./The Junction News Team