Bill would require MVA to remit funds to Saipan, Tinian, Rota

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SENATE Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider has pre-filed Senate Bill 21-51, which would require the Marianas Visitors Authority to remit on a monthly basis 2 percent or $300,000 from the MVA Trust Fund to each of the municipalities.

Under Public Law 18-1, MVA’s share of the hotel occupancy tax collections is deposited into the trust fund.

The law also allows each municipality to receive 2 percent or $300,000 from the MVA Trust Fund, whichever is greater.

S.B. 21-51 states that “since the establishment of the MVA Trust Fund in 2013, the municipalities have not received the full amount or percentage of the MVA Trust Fund allocated to MVA. Instead, the municipalities have received sporadic allotments and varying amounts from MVA.”

The purpose of the bill “is to clarify that MVA is mandated to remit monthly allotments or upon receipt of an allotment from the Department of Finance, a corresponding percentage of the allotment to each municipality each fiscal year.”

These monies are to be used “to implement charter flight tourism incentives, promotional programs, tourism enhancement activities, beautification projects, island-wide cleanup, and to include purchasing supplies and equipment for such projects.”

The expenditure authority of these funds are the respective mayors of each municipality.

Last week, MVA said it had yet to receive $4.3 million in hotel occupancy tax collections from fiscal year 2019.

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