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Last updateSat, 19 Oct 2019 12am







    Friday, October 18, 2019-5:39:43P.M.






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House to consider casino-tax proposals

REPRESENTATIVE Tina Sablan has introduced House Local Bill 21-23 which would impose a 10 percent tax on net gambling revenue while House Gaming Committee Chairman Ralph Yumul has drafted a bill that would prohibit the casino operator from writing off unpaid credit from its tax obligations.

According to Yumul’s bill, “No deduction shall be allowed from gross revenues for the unpaid balance of any obligation or credit extended for gambling or gaming.”

It states that “making loans or extending credit for the purpose of gambling can foster problem gambling.”

The bill would “discourage lending for the purpose of gambling by providing that unpaid balances on loans extended for gambling shall not be deducted from gross revenues.”

In an interview, House Minority Leaders Edwin Propst, who co-sponsored Sablan’s bill said “it’s important that we do it,” referring to the proposed 10 percent tax on net gaming revenue.

He said the local tax measure “is actually very kind” because it is imposed on net gaming revenue and not on gross, and it also gives credit for the annual license fee.

Imperial Pacific International, the Saipan casino investor, has already paid the $15 million license fee “so they can use that as credit toward the [gaming] taxes,” Propst said.

“I think we are being very fair and we look forward to hearing from them on this bill. But right now, the urgency is that IPI has not paid any taxes within almost a year,” he added.

It was earlier reported that IPI wanted to use tax credits earned in recent years instead of paying more taxes this year as it tries to complete its hotel-casino facility in Garapan.

It was also reported that IPI had paid $41,000 in business gross revenue tax since July 1, 2018 compared to $40.9 million in 2016, $67.7 million in 2017 and $43.6 million in 2018.