Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 12am







    Wednesday, September 18, 2019-8:52:22P.M.






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A public reply to Magahaga and a concern for the public

MAGAHAGA, I do not know who you are, but, I find it interesting that you hide behind a pseudonym as you rant in the comments section of the online newspaper. Your comments regarding me, and others is long and mostly incoherent.

You are incorrect about my lawsuit concerning voting rights. I have said repeatedly that I really don’t care about Article 12 one way or the other. The indigenous people can do anything they want regarding that issue…EXCEPT to prevent me from voting. I am an American and I am a 33-year resident of the CNMI. As long as the CNMI is part of the United States of America I am going to vote or we will be back in court again. You seem to want the benefits of being part of the United States, but you do not seem to want to have the responsibility that goes with being a citizen… Like honoring the Constitution. You also yap about “continued discrimination and racist (sic) against Chamorros” while advocating for discrimination and racist behavior against everyone else while again, hiding behind the pseudonym. The other issues in your diatribe mean nothing to me. Those other people you attacked can speak for themselves…or not. But you need to understand this, Saipan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is my community, my home. I live here because I want to, not because of an accident of birth and no one should try to hinder my involvement in my community. But, you are certainly correct about one thing… Enough IS enough.

To the public on another subject; it is being reported that the governor has said “… tax refunds would most likely be issued once the CNMI government starts to receive federal reimbursements for the CNMI government’s expenses in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu…” and “The money that we [had] was used for Yutu recovery,”… “We are hoping that once we get [federal] reimbursements, then we will give out the tax refunds. Hopefully within the month.”

I’m just wondering how Public Law 11-49 fits into this equation. The public law states in part,

“Amend 4 CMC § 1714 to read as follows: ‘§ 1714. Special Rebate Trust Account. At least 75 percent of all amounts paid to the government with respect to taxes imposed under this chapter shall not be placed into the General Fund or commingled with other funds, but shall be deposited by the Secretary of Finance into one or more FDIC or FSLIC insured special purpose trust accounts in banks within the Commonwealth. The proceeds may be withdrawn from the trust accounts only for the purpose of: (a) Making rebates for any fiscal year as provided in this chapter;

“(b) Payment into the General Fund, but only after a final determination, including a judicial determination if requested by any taxpayer, that the amount in question is not validly subject to rebate under this chapter, or

“(c) Payments into the General Fund of the interest or earnings derived from such trust accounts.”

I read that to mean that there should always be money in a Special Rebate Trust Account to provide taxpayers with their timely rebate. I could be wrong. Perhaps someone could enlighten me. Again, I am just wondering.

Further, on his Facebook page, Congressman Kilili Sablan issued a statement concerning FEMA funds. He says that, “The total amount of awards to date is $106,415,410.87. The congressional office was told that there are administrative steps that needed to be completed before the funds are transferred to the Commonwealth… Even with that, a majority of the awards were issued months ago.” In the interest of transparency and integrity his office shared this information and the data from FEMA with the public.

Given that the Commonwealth is in severe austerity measures, one has to wonder what happened to over $100 million?

Fina Sisu, Saipan