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US military buildup will benefit Guam: officials

HAGATNA, Guam--The relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, will boost Guam's revenue by at least US$37 million a year, defense officials say.

That's enough to more than double the size of Guam's police force, the Pacific Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1nf4cWz ).

The money will come from income taxes paid by 5,000 Marines who will move to Guam, the Joint Guam Program Office said. The federal government remits service member income taxes to the territory in a lump sum each year.

Maj. Darren Alvarez, deputy director of Joint Guam Program Office-Forward, said this income tax revenue will peak at US$62 million in 2021.

The grassroots organization We Are Guahan said the military isn't paying to help Guam cope with the effects of the buildup.

Attorney Leevin Camacho, of We Are Guahan, said income tax revenue from the Marines shouldn't be seen as mitigation for the social impacts.

If the buildup adversely impacts public schools, the local firefighting force, the local hospital and other social service functions or entities, the Defense Department should pay for the impact of the buildup on those specific service providers, Camacho said.

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