House Committee on Commerce chair Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan) has pre-filed a bill allowing municipalities or senatorial districts—through their local delegations—to provide a business license incentive program.
These incentives could include granting exemptions, refunds, rebates, or other forms of relief for new businesses for up to two years.
“This bill is an important part of those efforts to create jobs and an environment where businesses can succeed,” Villagomez said in his House Bill 18-137.
He made it clear that the bill does not mandate but rather provide an additional economic tool that each senatorial district of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota could use should they decide to choose such an option.
The bill will create a new section, Municipal Business License Incentive Program, to Commonwealth Code Title 4, Division 5, Business Regulation.
HB 18-137 also amends Local Law Act of 1983 by creating a new subsection to expressly authorize local delegations to enact legislation relating to municipal business license incentive programs for their respective senatorial districts.
Villagomez said nothing in the bill is intended to add to the cost of doing business.
The bill simply allows senatorial districts to establish local incentive programs that set fees at a local level, and set fees at a rate lower than what is currently mandated on a Commonwealth-wide basis.
“All fees collected as a result of this Act shall not be diverted from its current business unit or accounts within the CNMI general fund to a senatorial district,” Villagomez said in his bill. (By HAIDEE V. EUGENIO