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DOWE HOPEFUL TAXES WILL FUND STEP INCREASES

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June 7, 2001 – Sen. Carlton Dowe said Thursday he anticipates from $45 million to $50 million in excess tax revenues to be collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue this year.
Dowe's bill earmarking any excess revenue collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in fiscal year 2001 to fund government employees step increases was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
The bill also stipulates that 50 percent of all delinquent property taxes collected by the Department of Finance go into the Union Arbitration and Award Fund for government employees.
Dowe said he applauds Turnbull's decision to sign the bill. "Government revenues are substantially higher than last year's," he said, "and eventually all unionized (government) employees can be placed on step."
Dowe also called on the administration to make good on all contracts signed, but not yet executed. "The administration must provide the necessary line-item for pay increases when they submit the budget in July," he noted. He said with continued economic growth in the territory and the implementation of capital projects and correct Legislative oversight, "we can sustain the step increases for the coming years."
Turnbull didn't seem so sure. Though he signed the bill, Turnbull expressed doubts in a letter to Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd. "Unfortunately, current financial projections indicated that the treasury may not be able to sustain this funding on a recurring basis," he said. Turnbull said he was "actively in the process of . . . placing all government employees on step," urged the Legislature to consider how the recurring expense may be funded.

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