The Department of Finance still owes the Marianas Visitors Authority $5.2 million in hotel occupancy tax collection, despite a recent $500,000 payment, according to MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo yesterday.
Iakopo said they received the $500,000 this month as Finance’s partial payment for fiscal year 2019.
Iakopo has a meeting yesterday with Finance Secretary David Atalig to discuss hotel occupancy tax collections and remittance to MVA.
Last September, Finance remitted $1.5 million in hotel occupancy tax collection to MVA.
MVA said the $1.5 million paid a partial amount in hotel occupancy tax collection up to March.
Last Aug. 1, MVA received a total of $1.3 million in remittance from Finance in less than a month starting July.
Last July, Rep. Joseph “Lee Pan” T. Guerrero (R-Saipan) asked Finance to transmit the $5.1 million that it owes MVA, saying Finance is technically violating the law with its non-remittance.
Guerrero, who chairs the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism, pointed out that, under the law, 80% of the hotel occupancy tax collection goes to MVA, while 20 percent goes to the Settlement Fund.