Morrison: Base Fuel Tax Adjustment on Infrastructure Needs, Not Politics



October 20, 2017


Morrison: Base Fuel Tax Adjustment on Infrastructure Needs, Not Politics 

Morrison proposes for PUC to regulate fuel tax rates   


Senator Tommy Morrison sent a letter to Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), requesting feedback concerning the idea of authorizing the organization to regulate future adjustments to the Liquid Fuel Tax rates.


Senator Morrison brought up the suggestion recently in a conversation with Chairman Johnson and cited the PUC’s record of adjusting various utility rates in order to fund the implementation of immediate and long-term capital improvement projects. The PUC recently approved the 14th rate increase for the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) since 2004 – a 4-percent increase to the agency’s basic and non-lifeline water and wastewater rates on all customer classes. According to local media reports, the adjustment, which increases water rates by an average of up $2 per month, is the final step in GWA’s five-year commitment to pay off bond money that was borrowed so that the water agency could improve Guam’s water and wastewater systems, as mandated by the federal court.  According to Senator Morrison, the premise of his suggestion is to remove political influence from the decision-making process.


“While the passage of Bill 122-34 into law was a difficult but necessary step forward in our efforts to provide families with safer roadways across our island, the fact that politicians are responsible for determining the necessity of rate adjustments is difficult for me to accept. Although Bill 122-34 was supported by only eight of fifteen senators, I don’t believe that any of my colleagues who opposed the measure were ignoring the urgency of repairing more of our village streets,” stated Senator Morrison. “Moreover, I commend Vice-Speaker Therese Terlaje and Senators William Castro, James Espaldon, Fernando Esteves, Louise Muna, Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., and Joe San Agustin for having the courage to prioritize safer roadways over politics.”


“The PUC continues to prioritize upgrades to various services and is fully aware that improvements our ratepayers expect require funding. Equally important is the PUC’s record of reducing utility rates whenever it is necessary. Moving forward, my office is prepared to work closely with the PUC in developing legislation authorizing the organization to regulate adjustments to the Liquid Fuel tax rates,” concluded Senator Morrison.


For additional information regarding this press release, please contact Senator Morrison’s office at 478-8669 or send an e-mail to


Attachment:     10.16.17 Ltr. to PUC, Re – Liquid Fuel Tax

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