Senate unanimously OKs EITC bill


The Senate unanimously passed yesterday a House of Representatives bill that would repeal an existing CNMI law in order to make families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit as a form of financial relief.

With all nine senators voting to adopt the Senate Committee on Fiscal Affairs’ report that recommends passage, House Bill 22-19, House Draft 1 will now go to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for his signature.

Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota) praised Rep. Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) for introducing H.B. 22-19, which the senator described as a significant legislation. During these unprecedented times, Santos said, many families are suffering financially and will greatly benefit from any additional financial refunds, especially for lower income working families and individuals.

However, since EITC is fairly new to some, Santos hopes the Department of Finance Division of Revenue and Taxation can help inform people about it.

“I also hope that, upon transmission of the legislation, the administration will expeditiously sign the bill into law so those eligible families can avail of the financial benefits of this EITC,” the senator said.

Members of the House unanimously voted to pass the bill last March.

Co-sponsored by several other lawmakers, H.B. 22-19 would restore the EITC for low-and moderate-income working families in the CNMI.

EITC is a refundable tax credit in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Code that helps qualified low-to moderate-income working families and taxpayers get a tax break by allowing them to use the credit to reduce the taxes they owe, and in some cases, increase their tax refunds.

Sablan earlier stated that the Department of Finance estimates that the value of the EITC to be approximately $25 million.

The House voted “yes” to a floor amendment by Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan) to include a subsection to ensure that only the EITC law is being considered and does not include other excess credits outside of the EITC.

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
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