COFA gains $12.069 million
By: L.N. Reklai
“We are on track with our revenue collections and expenditures this first quarter of FY 2018,” reported Minister Elbuchel Sadang of the Ministry of Finance.
Government collected $17.771 million or 25% of the budgeted revenue for FY 2018.
The FY 2018 budget was developed based on similar assumptions of 2017 budget which accounted for less visitor arrivals according previous report from the Ministry of Finance.
Minister Sadang said that the high gross receipt tax collections is another indicator of strong tourism spending. First quarter report showed 30% collection of GRT.
Additionally Fish Export was at 38% and Fuel Excise at 51% of projected government revenue. Departure tax was at 22% and hotel room tax at 23%.
Government’s reported expenditure for the 1st Quarter of FY 2018 was 23% of the budgeted expenditure.
Salang reported that the Compact Assistance dropped from $13 million to $7.2 million according to the agreement and the allowed drawdown amount from the Compact Fund increased to $9 million. So far, he said this quarter, they only drew down $1 million as they still had enough local revenue to cover obligations.
Minister Sadang also reported that despite recent volatility in the US Stock Market, Palau’s COFA investment gained 5.54% or $12,069,000 million dollars on its investment from FY 2017 to February 28, 2018. Of that, $4.204 million gains was reported for Dec. 31, 2017 to February 28, 2018 period.
Reduction of Delta flights in May will have potential impact on Departure and Hotel Room tax. Minister Obichang of MPIIC recently wrote Delta Airlines to ask how this can be changed. President Remengesau Jr. is reported to be in Japan to discuss possible alternative airlines to fill in the gap when Delta stops its flights. There has been no new update as of this publication. [/restrict]