By: L.N. Reklai

June 28, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang reported that the government is ahead on its revenue collections and expects to reach the budgeted amount for FY 2017.

National government has collected over 70% of its budgeted revenue half-way into the 2017 fiscal year according to report from the Ministry of Finance.  In the 2017 national budget, government had expected to collect $60.419 million in local revenue and as of May 2017, it had collected $42.725 million of that budgeted amount.

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On taxes, it has collected 69% of the total projected revenue. Some of the highlights include 77% collected from Gross Receipt Taxes, 68% from Hotel Occupancy Tax, 66% from Departure Tax, 57% from Alcohol & Tobacco Tax, and 93% from Delinquent, Penalties and Interests.

“We have been working very hard to check those apartment operations that have been converted for  use like a hotel, to ensure that proper taxes are paid,” stated Minister Sadang of the Ministry of Finance.

He further added that despite expected drop in tourism numbers, they have collected 66% of projected departure head tax ad 68% Hotel Occupancy Tax.

Under Licenses and Permits, 85% has been collected from Fishing Days Fees or $6.123 million over expected $7.1 million.

On Fees and Charges, government has collected 62% of revenue from port use and 104% of Court Fines and Fees.

Asked if government expect to see another surplus this year, Minister Sadang stated that they will meet their revenue targets but he added that surplus also depends on the expenditure side and given the controls in place, they may be able to see some surplus.  How much that would be, he could not say. [/restrict]