10 Dec 2010

Guam fuel tax change worries Marshalls speaker

2:40 pm on 10 December 2010

The Marshall Islands Speaker, Alvin Jacklick, says a bill in the Guam legislature that would eliminate a tax exemption on fuel exports to the Micronesian region will create hardship for Marshall Islanders.

The bill proposes taxing fuel for transshipment at 75 percent of the tax rates for liquid fuel, which are currently 10 cents per gallon for diesel, four cents a gallon for jet fuel, and 11 cents per gallon on petrol and other fuels.

Mr Jacklick says if the legislation passes, fuel prices will go up in the Marshall Islands.

He has raised his concern about the proposed legislation in a letter to the Guam Speaker Dr. Judith T. Won Pat, noting that the Marshall Islands has been one of the beneficiaries of the tax exemption.

Guam estimates that about 28 million gallons of liquid fuel are transshipped through Guam annually for the Micronesia area.