Auto dealership makes further acquisition

Atkins Kroll Inc. announced April 27 its acquisition of Avis Rent a Car, Budget Rent a Car, and Payless Rent a Car across six islands in Micronesia from Premiere Alliance Corp., which has served Micronesia for 25 years, according to a release.

The auto dealer said AK’s acquisition of the rental car brands marks a major step forward in its global business strategy.

AK declined to give any indication of the purchase price.

According to Value Adder and prior to the pandemic, the industry in the U.S. generated combined revenues of $23.8 billion annually and employed almost 132,500 staff.

At that time, the average privately owned auto rental business in the U.S. mainland was small, with annual revenues of $3.8 million and 21 employees.

Prior to the pandemic, the Guam market supported about 3,000 car hire vehicles between major brands, according to Journal files.

The purchase price of a rental car business would depend on annual revenues plus any inventory (with depreciation), as well as the value of a brand name. Some companies in the regional market have reduced inventory, rather than hold on to aging vehicles, and may encounter challenges when the rental market returns, due to low inventory in the auto industry.

Some brands in the U.S. rental market have consolidated, according to Journal sources.

Cathy Mateo is the longtime president in Guam of Premier Alliance Corp.

AK confirmed that staff will be retained.

Atkins Kroll’s purchased Morrico Equipment in December 2021, and did retain its senior executive team, according to Journal files.


Second bill to lower Guam burden of fuel costs introduced

Sen. Joe S. San Agustin introduced Bill 295-36 (LS) “to waive the levy of excise taxes, automotive surcharges, and mass transit automotive surcharges on liquid fuel for 180 calendar days and to amend the appropriations for the Department of Public Works.” Sen. San Agustin is joined by Vice Speaker Tina Muña Barnes, Sen. Amanda Shelton, Sen. Pedo Terlaje, Sen. Tony Ada, Sen. Frank Blas, Jr. and Sen. Jim Moylan as co-sponsors, according to an April 26 release.

Bill 295 intends to place a moratorium, acknowledging that the repeal of liquid fuel taxes as proposed in Bill 261 would cause a decline in Guam’s ability to repair roads and not guarantee savings at the gas pumps. The repeal of the tax and added surcharges will cause a reduction in collections for the repair of Guam’s secondary roads estimated at almost $20 million annually, the release said. 

Sen. Speaker Therese M. Terlaje meanwhile called earlier on April 26 for “community support to urge Bill No. 261-36 (COR) be reported out of the Committee of Appropriations for action by the Legislature.” 

Bill No. 261-36 would bring a savings of 23¢ per gallon to all individuals and businesses at the gas pumps through the repeal of the Liquid Fuel Tax (LFT).  The proposal had a public hearing on April 7, where Guam’s petroleum companies lent their support for the measure promising that the reductions “if enacted, would be passed on to the consumers.”

To address any confusion regarding the source of funding for the repeal, Speaker Therese Terlaje requested an amendment be made to the legislative intent of the bill to remove any reference to federal ARP or Infrastructure money for clarification, though they were never identified as a funding source in the bill. 


GHRA offers free training opportunities

The Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association is launching free training and certification programs through the Guam Economic Development Authority’s Qualifying Certificate Community Contribution Grant Program for Series 3 and Series 5, funded by the Guam Regional Medical City as the Qualifying Certificate Community Contributor.

The free training and certification courses are aimed to provide individuals with the skills needed to increase performance, improve service standards and provide job-specific skills for new and existing hospitality and service sector industry employees, according to an April 26 release. 

GHRA will offer the following courses from May 2 through Aug. 31: Introductory/Refresher course for Restaurant Server (Marie Guerrero); Health Certificate training, exam and certification (DPHSS DEH); Introductory/Refresher course for Kitchen Cooks (Marie Guerrero); Health Certificate training, exam and certification (DPHSS DEH); TiPS: Responsible Alcohol Server/Seller Training, exam and certification (GHRA, DRT ABC); Basic Training A: Pesticides Training, exam and certification (GHRA, Guam EPA); Occupational Health & Safety Training (HSE Pacific); Hazard Communication, Toxic and Hazardous Substances; Fall Protection, Ladders; Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Protection; Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout); and Machinery and Machine Guarding.

For more information, please contact GHRA at 671-649-1447, email at [email protected] or visit online at


Your governments at work:


NMI DOL gets PUA passing grade

On April 18, the U.S. Department of Labor sent an official notice “commending the CNMI Department of Labor for successfully resolving all programmatic issues vis-a-vis USDOL’s audit of the CNMI Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program,” according to an April 26 release.
Between March 19, 2021, to Sept. 17, 2021, the US DOL conducted an enhanced desk monitoring review of the CNMI’s PUA program. The purpose of the audit was to determine compliance with grant agreements and applicable legislative, regulatory, programmatic, and fiscal requirements, according to the release.


Guam Rev&Tax pumps more ARPA funding out

The Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation announced that on April 25 the agency processed an additional 85 payments for the All RISE Program, totaling $80,000. The amount comprised 50 paper checks and 35 electronic funds transfers.

To date 35,927 payments have totaled $36.94 million, according to an April 26 release.

The ALL RISE program is intended to use federal pandemic funding to give $800 to individual tax filers whose earn adjusted gross income is no more than $40,000 per year, and a $1,600 payment to joint filers whose income is no more than $80,000 per year, according to Journal files, and required an application process.


Court chides progress of participants in Guam archdiocese bankruptcy case

The District Court of Guam has expressed its displeasure at the pace of progress in the bankruptcy case of the Archdiocese of Agana. Proceeds from the sale of assets will be used to settle compensation of victims of sexual abuse, according to Journal files.

“While the court appreciates the parties’ efforts for the past seven weeks in appearing before the Honorable Robert Faris for mediation conferences, the court is disappointed in the parties’ inability to meet the court’s original and amended timelines. As stated by the court at the April 22, 2022 hearing, this will be the last time the court will extend the deadline for the filing of any amended plans and amended disclosure statements. This case has gone on for far too long, with legal fees costing over $5,000,000.00 from January 2019 through November 2021; and over $600,000.00 for non-legal fees. This does not include any professional fees accrued beginning December 2021 to present. Meanwhile, the survivors continue to wait for the resolution of this case and have not received any payments from the estate,” according to legal documents released on April 26.

The court has set a timeline, with hearing on the amended disclosure statement(s) set for June 10. mbj