Rep. Patrick H. San Nicolas (R-Tinian) has pre-filed a local bill that would appropriate $502,030 in fees collected from the Tinian Diamond Casino for the personnel and operations of the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission for fiscal year 2023.
San Nicolas stated in the local bill that the funds available for appropriation for fiscal year 2023 is the $500,000 in casino license fee and the $2,030 in casino service industry fee for fiscal year 2023, for a total of $502,030.
The Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation is obliged to enact a Tinian Local Budget for fiscal year 2023 on or before Oct. 1, 2022. San Nicolas said, however, that the delegation did not receive any notice of estimated gaming revenue projection for fiscal year 2023 until Oct. 6, 2022.
He said the Office of the Tinian Municipal Treasurer transmitted a communication dated Oct. 6, 2022, to the delegation identifying local revenue for fiscal year 2023 in the amount of $502,030 that is available for appropriation.
Under the Tinian Local Law 21-9, casino licensees are required to renew their licenses upon its expiration. Failure to renew a conditional or plenary license upon expiration shall be grounds for the revocation, suspension, or termination of a casino license.
San Nicolas said the Tinian delegation finds that the identified local revenue for fiscal year 2023 is insufficient to satisfy in full all the personnel and operation expenses of the TCGCC, Office of the Mayor of Tinian, and the Tinian Municipal Treasurer up to the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2023.
Upon the identification of additional gaming funds, he said the delegation shall immediately appropriate the additional funds for the programs.
The mayor of Tinian and Aguiguan shall be the expenditure authority of the funds appropriated to the Office of the Mayor, the Office of the Municipal Treasurer, and public programs.
The TCGCC chairman shall be the expenditure authority of the funds appropriated to the Commissioners Division and the Enforcement Division of the TCGCC.
The chairperson of the Tinian Municipal Council shall be the expenditure authority of the funds appropriated to the operations of the Tinian Municipal Council.
He said vacant positions for full time employees hall not be announced or filled without certification of available funds by the Tinian municipal treasurer and approved for expenditure by the respective authority.
San Nicolas said zero-funded positions or FTEs shall not be filled and funds appropriated shall not be reprogrammed to fund zero-funded positions for FTEs.
He said the funds appropriated pursuant to this Act shall not be used to increase the salary of any employee or position from its current level or new level.
San Nicolas said TCGCC and the Tinian municipal treasurer, through the mayor, shall provide revenue projections and proposed appropriations on or before June 1, 2023.
He said the delegation shall pass a balanced budget by Oct. 1, 2023, unless all casino operations have shut down or gaming funds are not available.