Rep. Joseph “Lee Pan” Guerrero (R-Saipan) is seeking to impose a moratorium on all bed-and-breakfast businesses on Saipan in a bid for the CNMI government to have a handle on how licenses and taxation are applied to these establishments.
Guerrero introduced House Local Bill 21-32 during last Nov. 12, 2019’s session of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation session. His bill seeks to impose a three-year moratorium on all bed-and-breakfast establishments on Saipan.
According to Guerrero’s bill, B&B’s are being created on Saipan at a rate that makes it difficult to regulate and check if they are compliant with zoning laws and other business requirements.
He noted in the bill that there are about over 2,500 B&B’s in the CNMI.
A B&B, according to Public Law 20-30, is a private residence or building with five or fewer rooms that are rented or hired out for tourists.
“The rapid establishment of such facilities makes it difficult for the enforcement division of the Department of Finance to identify and ensure that such facilities are complying with zoning laws, appropriate licenses are obtained, and the hotel occupancy taxes are paid,” he noted in the bill.
The moratorium prohibits the development, expansion, or establishment of any new B&B or similar facility for three years. It also disallows the lands approval, business license, building permit, construction permit, occupancy permit, or any approval for a new B&B.
The bill imposes a $5,000 fine for the first offense and $10,000 for the second and subsequent offenses.