WASHINGTON – U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech today announced that Interior will be signing over $ 328,000,000 to Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). The payment includes $69,928,937 to Guam for federal income tax advance payments under Section 30 of the Organic Act of Guam for fiscal year 2020 and $258,375,000 to the USVI in rum tax cover-over payments for the estimated FY 2020 rum tax collections in the territory.
"These funds are important to Guam and the Virgin Islands governments and my team at the Office of Insular Affairs always works hard to ensure the funds are transferred as quickly as they are available,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “I expect the funds to be available by next week.”
Under Guam’s Organic Act, federal income taxes derived from active members of the United States Armed Forces and pensions paid to retired civilian and military employees of the United States who reside on Guam are annually “covered-over” to the Guam Treasury to support the operations, activities, and programs of the local government (48 U.S. Code 1421 Section h). Through changes made under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (U.S. Public Law 114-328, Section 1703) some of these funds are set aside for the Guam World War II Claims Fund at the Department of the Treasury.
Under the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands (48 USC 1541), any excise tax collected on USVI manufactured rum imported into the United States is transferred to or “covered-over” to the USVI. The USVI Government submits an advance estimate of rum excise taxes to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) on an annual basis so that a payment can be made in September of each fiscal year. Any adjustments necessary are calculated and paid later based upon amounts advanced from rum excise taxes derived from the USVI and actual receipts collected by the federal government.
All payments are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.