Small business tax relief reaches across the aisle

by Committee on rules Senator Régine Biscoe Lee, Chair
Stripes Guam

Help is on the way for Guam’s small business owners. A bipartisan effort led by Senator Régine Biscoe Lee, and joined by Senator Jim Moylan, Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes, and Senator Joe, S. San Agustin will expand the benefits of the Dave Santos Act—allowing small businesses to keep more of the money they make.

The proposal is the first measure introduced in the 35th Guam Legislature and comes on the heels of a recent economic forecast predicting negative growth in Guam for 2019. As currently written, the bipartisan measure would raise the amount exempted from the Business Privilege Tax to the first $50,000 in gross income under the “Dave Santos Act.”

The measure also increases the number of small businesses eligible to participate in the program to those whose aggregate income does not exceed $250,000.

“Small businesses are the backbone of this economy but they need our help,” said Senator Régine Biscoe Lee. “When our best economic experts tell us to prepare for a ‘negative growth’ economy—we have to listen—and we have to act. This is the first in a series of proposals I have to stimulate small business and create good jobs” she said.

While similar measures have failed in the past, a new legislature and bipartisan support for smarter tax policy may increase the chance for change,

“I’ve spent my whole life in the private sector. I know just how hard it is to make ends meet, fight for business, and still pay your employees,” said Senator Jim Moylan. “This bill makes sense and I am glad to be a part of it, he said.

Recognizing that both the Government of Guam and the private sector will need time to adjust, the measure would take effect at the start of the new Fiscal Year—October 1st.

“The best way to increase our government’s resources is to help the economy grow,” said Senator Régine Biscoe Lee. “That means we need to send a clear message to the men and women who keep this economy afloat: we are on your side,” she said.

For more information, contact: Cierra Camacho 488-6014.

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