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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Senate sends revenue-generating bills to governor
Adopted resolutions to pay 300 credit union members, bus purchase

Besides adopting a resolution asking President Barack Obama to delay a proclamation withholding conveyance to the CNMI of submerged lands surrounding five CNMI islands, the Senate also passed Wednesday afternoon House Bill 18-159 that amends the Commonwealth Insurance Act of 1983 to provide for a premium rate review process. Senators also passed revenue-generating bills now headed to the governor for action.

The Senate passed House Bill 18-132, House Draft 1, raising the penalty fine for businesses failing to provide sales receipts by up to $1,000.

Businesses not issuing receipts get to pay reduced taxes for not reporting their actual sales, resulting in revenue loss for the government.

Once this revenue-generating bill becomes law, the new fines for not issuing receipts to customers will be $250, $750, and $1,500.

The third violation will trigger an automatic revocation of the business license for six months.

In addition to revising the Sales Receipts Act, Rep. Christopher Leon Guerrero’s (Cov-Saipan) bill also allows the Department of Finance to issue cease and desist orders that are effective even before an administrative is conducted.

Senators also passed Rep. John Paul Sablan’s (Cov-Saipan) HB 18-160, establishing the exit of the U.S. Post Office as an official customs point of entry.

Once this revenue-generating and enforcement bill becomes law, the Division of Customs Service under Finance will have the authority to inspect packages and other mails reasonably suspected of containing taxable goods or contraband, at the Post Offices after they were released from USPS custody.

Senators also adopted floor leader Ray Yumul’s (Ind-Saipan) resolution requesting the Commonwealth Government Employees Credit Union to pay out approximately 300 members that asked to withdraw their funds at the credit union.

Also adopted was Sen. Pete Reyes’ (Ind-Saipan) resolution asking Gov. Eloy S. Inos to allocate funds from the Federal Transit Authority grant to the CNMI Office of Transit Authority to buy two 66-passenger school buses for the Public School System.

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