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Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 12am

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    Monday, June 18, 2018-2:04:28P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Bill to allow tax exemption for artists goes to Governor

A MEASURE proposing to allow local artists to pay none to minimal revenue tax now goes to the Governor’s desk after the Senate passed it without amendments last week.

House Bill 20-42 introduced by Representatives Angel Demapan, Frank Aguon, Edwin Aldan, Donald Barcinas, Ivan Blanco, Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero, Joseph Leepan Guerrero and John Paul Sablan amends 4 CMC Section 1302 (a) Tax on Agriculture Producers and Fishing to include Artists registered with the Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture.

The bill states that Public Law 9-22, which was enacted in January 24, 1995, only refers to the tax break of agricultural producers and those engaged in fishing.

The bill repeals and reenacts a provision in the revenue and taxation code as the “legislature finds that Artists registered with the Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture should also be included in this provision as its intent and purpose are identical in nature.”

The bill continues to note that “Assisting persons engaged in producing agriculture or fishing in the CNMI or CNMI Artists become self sufficient while promoting our culture and traditions is mutually beneficial and rewarding to all.”

H.B. 20-42 proposes to amend 4 CMC Section 1302 (a) to read as:

“(a) in lieu of the tax rates of 4 CMC Section 1301 (a), the tax impose on persons (1) registered with the Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture as Artist or (2) engaged in the business of producing agricultural products in the Commonwealth, or fishing in the Commonwealth, or its waters for dietary consumption, shall be determined in accordance with the following schedule: If the yearly total gross revenue between $0-to $20,000 the tax is no tax; if it’s over $20,000, the tax is one percent of total gross revenues in excess of $20,000.”

Retiree Benefits

The Senate also acted on House Bill 20-141 to give the Department of Finance the authority to pay the obligated 25 percent due to the survivors of CNMI deceased retirees, introduced by Rep. Angel Demapan.

The bill is proposing to mandate the Department of Finance to pay the remaining 25 percent of the retirees’ death benefits.

Prior to the enactment of the Settlement Fund, the retirees’ survivors were entitled to a death benefit of $1,000.

When the Settlement Fund was established, it only paid 75 percent of the retirees’ death benefit.

The bill says it is time that the survivors of retirees’ are paid 100 percent of death benefits.

The Senate amended the measure to add Section 3 that says:

“Section 3: Retroactive Application: The provisions of this Act shall apply to all retirees, alive or deceased, that were members of the Northern Mariana Islands Settlement Fund on or before August 6, 2013.”

The bill goes back to the House for action on the Senate’s amendments.