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Revenue-generating proposals estimated to increase govt’s gross resources by $17.9M

‘PPP play vital role in helping CNMI move forward’
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By implementing new rates and taxes outlined in last year Fiscal Response Summit, the CNMI government’s gross resources is estimated to increase by $17.9 million, according to Margaret C. Torres, who was the acting Finance chief at that time.

Torres’ report on revenue-generating activities that were proposed at the April 2020 summit, which was attached to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ proposed budget for the CNMI government for fiscal year 2022, outlined a raft of additional revenue-generating proposals that would further boost the government’s finances.

The summit’s proposal to increase remittance tax will have an estimated effect of $3.82 million; a 2% sales tax will generate $7.78 million; a “sin” tax on sugar beverages, alcohol, and others will translate to $3.39 million; and a $1 increase on cigarettes (tobacco) products will generate $2.92 million—for a total of $17,930,503, the report stated.

“The overall effects of these revenue-generating activities are dependent on numerous factors, such as legislative action, administrative employment, and economic climate and behavior,” said Margaret C. Torres in her fiscal year 2022 general revenue estimates dated March 12, 2021, and addressed to the special assistant for Management and Budget.

Margaret C. Torres said the creation of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors means the CNMI has fostered new programs that can aid in the recovery, among these the creation of the Public and Private Partnerships program.

These PPPs, she said, have rehabilitated the CNMI’s tourism and recreational areas such as walkways, parks, and gymnasiums. “These types of programs play a pivotal role in helping the CNMI move forward,” Margaret C. Torres said.

Due to the lack of historical data, she said, the Department of Finance did not take into consideration these programs for fiscal year 2022.

The administration’s proposed budget identified gross resources of $144.84 million for the operations of the government and related agencies for fiscal year 2022. The governor submitted his proposed budget to the Legislature last Thursday.

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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