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Tuesday, July 22, 2014         

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U.S. Military: Buildup will boost Guam revenue

By Associated Press

POSTED:

<br />Courtesy U.S. Air Force<br />A long-awaited transfer of 5,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam might happen by 2020, according to University of Guam economist Maria Claret M. Ruane. Airman 1st Class Thomas Dennis of the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron watches gauges on a refueling truck at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.<br />

HAGATNA, Guam >> The relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, will boost Guam's revenue by at least $37 million a year, defense officials say.

That's enough to more than double the size of Guam's police force, the Pacific Daily News reported.

The money will come from income taxes paid by 5,000 Marines who will move to Guam, the Joint Guam Program Office said. The federal government remits service member income taxes to the territory in a lump sum each year.

Maj. Darren Alvarez, deputy director of Joint Guam Program Office-Forward, said this income tax revenue will peak at $62 million in 2021.

The grassroots organization We Are Guahan said the military isn't paying to help Guam cope with the effects of the buildup.

Attorney Leevin Camacho, of We Are Guahan, said income tax revenue from the Marines shouldn't be seen as mitigation for the social impacts.

If the buildup adversely impacts public schools, the local firefighting force, the local hospital and other social service functions or entities, the Defense Department should pay for the impact of the buildup on those specific service providers, Camacho said.

Gov. Eddie Calvo's office said it's not accurate to say the Defense Department pays nothing for the social impacts of the buildup.

The Port Authority of Guam in 2010 received $50 million from the Defense Department, and it has started to use the money to upgrade its facilities to accommodate increased cargo.

Congress also has authorized $106 million for Guam Waterworks Authority, mostly for wastewater plant upgrades.

The military is paying for some road improvements. There also is $12 million for a cultural repository and $13 million for a public health lab.







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