Sen. Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan) pre-filed yesterday a resolution requesting Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig to assist the taxpayers who were unable to use up all the funds in their first local stimulus.
Atalig earlier disclosed that approximately $2 million from the first local stimulus were not used by the recipients by the deadline of March 2022 and that the funds reverted back to the CNMI government.
To help families and stimulate the local economy, the forfeited amounts from first local stimulus of $500 per taxpayer should be reconsidered and be redistributed to those who lost the funds as a result of the deadline, DeLeon Guerrero said in her Senate Resolution 22-25.
In September 2021, the government issued $500 local stimulus cards to CNMI taxpayers using American Rescue Plan Act funding.
DeLeon Guerrero said numerous individuals reserved the stimulus funds for specific dates and some reserved the funds for family needs at a later date.
The senator pointed out that the deadline of March 2022 notice to use the first stimulus appeared on the Division of Revenue and Taxation website but this did not provide reasonable notice to many card recipients who missed to use the funds timely as a result.
DeLeon Guerrero said the residents in the community are faced with financial uncertainties due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that had caused reduced hours, furloughs, and other financial hardships.
The senator said the impacts of the Ukraine war, the steadily increasing fuel costs, and the rise in the inflation rate all add to the families’ financial burdens.
The government recently issued a second local stimulus card providing $500 per taxpayer using ARPA money to help families and also further stimulate the local economy.