Proposal: Extend leases to 75 years

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Posted on Feb 18 2006

The Senate has adopted an initiative to extend from 55 years to 75 years the leasehold term on private properties.

The lawmakers voted in a recent session to place on the ballot the amendment to Article XII Section 3 of the CNMI Constitution.

Authored by Sen. Luis Crisostimo, Senate Legislative Initiative 15-04 needs the affirmative vote of three fourths of the members of each house, so it can be placed before the voters for ratification in the next election.

“The Legislature finds that extending the term permanent and long-term period from 55 to 75 years will revitalize major investment projects in the Commonwealth,” reads a portion of the bill.

“Such change will also revive the real estate market benefiting landowners, real estate brokers, and investors. The longer lease period will facilitate banking and other lending institutions in funding major development loans, mortgages, etc., and enhance business opportunities in the secondary market,” it added.

The constitutional amendment would apply to all future leasehold agreement, not to existing ones.

If adopted by the House, the legislative initiative will be transmitted to the Governor’s Office and the Board of Elections with instructions that the board place it on the ballot for a ratification vote.

Only eligible voters who are also persons of Northern Marianas descent may cast votes on the ratification of any amendment to Article XII of the Constitution.

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