$46.97M disbursed for 2 local stimulus

$1.95M returned due to expiration

The Division of Revenue and Taxation has disclosed that $46.97 million in total American Rescue Plan Act money was disbursed in the Torres-Palacios administration’s two Local Economic Impact Payments, also known as local stimulus.

Revenue and Taxation then-acting director Melvina Litulumar in her report to then-acting Finance Secretary Bertha Torres dated Sept. 7, 2022, said $24,865,00 was disbursed in the first  distribution of local stimulus and that 32,110 stimulus cards were issued.

Litulumar said $1,951,898 was returned due to expiration for not using the money by the deadline.

Under the first local stimulus, $500 was given per eligible filer and dependent in the CNMI. Revenue and Taxation started distributing the cards in August 2021. 

With respect to distribution of the second local stimulus, Litulumar said $22,107,500 was disbursed and 27,367 cards were issued.

The cards have been used to date.

Under the second stimulus, $500 was given to each eligible filer and plus an additional $500 per dependent in the CNMI. Revenue and Taxation started distributing the cards last June. 

Revenue and Taxation will continue to process the second stimulus cards through Dec. 31, 2022. Funds deposited into local stimulus cards will expire by Jan. 31, 2023.

Litulumar’s report was among the many documents that Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig submitted last Sept. 12 to House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota).

Manglona issued a subpoena to compel Finance to provide numerous reports or documents that the committee members have sought.

Among the reports/documents that Manglona requested were for a total Business Gross Revenue Tax collected from all stimulus  packages issued though the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and total BGRT collected from the Travel Bubble Program through Korea and Japan.

Litulumar said Revenue and Taxation does not have a database to differentiate total BGRT collected through ARPA funds for stimulus packages nor the Travel Bubble.

She said the data provided is total BGRT collected for the years 2021 and 2022, as of Sept. 1, 2022.

Litulumar said total BGRT collected for tax year 2021 is $1,421,492,000 and $929,133,647 for tax year 2022.

She said tax year 2022 data is only up to a part of August as August filing date is not until Sept. 30,2022.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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