IPI settles CNMI’s BGRT issue for $18.17M


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has settled with the CNMI government the latter’s claim for non-payment of business gross revenue tax by agreeing to pay $18.17 million.

The Department of Finance claimed that IPI supposedly owes $30 million in unpaid BGRT, but IPI had stated it actually overpaid the government during previous years.

IPI said yesterday that it will pay in full the BGRT stipulated by CNMI Finance department by the end of March.

IPI said the total amount is $18,176,801.

“IPI will continue to honor our business commitments and financial obligations,” IPI said in a statement.

The government has yet to issue a statement about the settlement deal with IPI.

At the House’s Ways and Means Committee meeting last April, Finance Department officials disclosed that IPI has so far only remitted to the CNMI government $41,000 from October 2018 to April 23, 2019.

That’s a far cry from the BGRT payments of $40.9 million that IPI paid in 2016, $67.7 million in 2017, and $43.6 million in 2018.

IPI later belied reports that it’s behind in its tax payments.

At the Commonwealth Casino Commission board’s monthly meeting last December, Rep. Tina Sablan (Ind-Saipan) said the casino owes the Commonwealth tens of millions of dollars in BGRT, corporate income taxes, and developer’s taxes and is seeking ways to avoid paying any taxes.

At the same CCC meeting, Rep. Edwin Propst (Ind-Saipan) appealed the commissioners to ensure that IPI pay the CNMI government $18 million in developer’s infrastructure tax, $37 million in community benefit fund, and millions of dollars more to its vendors and former contractors.

Last Jan. 8, IPI disclosed that they have recently increased the number of staff on clearing outstanding payment requests from vendors and that to date, they have paid off all local vendors with outstanding payments under $20,000 and over $300,000.

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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