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Ocean Vista QC application awaits CDA action

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Ocean Vista Resort’s qualifying certificate application was neither passed nor rejected when it went to a vote before the Commonwealth Development Authority board last Saturday, according to CDA executive director Manuel Sablan.

Ocean Vista Resort proposes to build a reported $46-million, 144-room hotel on Capital Hill. In applying for a qualifying certificate, they have asked for 100 percent developer infrastructure tax abatement during their construction period, 100 percent abatement for business gross revenue, alcoholic beverage and excise taxes for 25 years, and 100 percent rebate on its income tax.

The CDA board is required to act on the application by a certain time. This deadline is May 2, according to CDA. If there is no action by the CDA board on the package, then it goes automatically to Gov. Eloy S. Inos.

In an interview yesterday, CDA executive director Manuel Sablan explained that three board members voted in favor of the application, one abstained, and one said no.

Because of this, the motion did not pass, Sablan said, noting there were also not enough votes to reject the application.

For the application to be approved, five board directors have to vote either yes or no. The board is composed of seven.

“We have until May 2nd. If there is no quorum, no decision by the CDA board to either approve the application with modifications, then the entire package goes to the governor after May 2 for his disposition,” Sablan clarified.

CDA recommended an application with modifications, or “with certain conditions,” Sablan said, disclosing these could be community contributions “in varying amounts and varying terms” for example.

CDA and the local tax office have assessed the application, he said. “These recommendations have been discussed,” he said.

The conditions focus on employment and local procurement, he said, noting that the statute for the qualifying certificate was created to promote economic development.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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