Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 07 Dec 2019 12am







    Saturday, December 7, 2019-11:46:37A.M.






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IPI pays casino license fee in full

IMPERIAL Pacific International on Tuesday paid off the remaining $10.5 million of the $15.5 million annual casino license fee.

Finance Secretary David Atalig told Variety that IPI wired to the CNMI Treasury account the $10 million plus the $500,000 that assessed due to inflation.

David Deleon Guerrero Atalig

“I am pleased to receive the remaining funds as promised, including the additional fee for CPI index adjustment — these are well needed funds for the CNMI government,” Atalig said.

The Commonwealth Casino Commission, which will meet at 10 a.m. today, Wednesday, will discuss, among other things, IPI’s license fee payment.

Last week, CCC Executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero filed a complaint with the commission against IPI for its failure to pay the full amount on Aug. 12. CCC gave IPI 15 days to settle the balance.

House Minority Leader Edwin Propst, in a separate interview, said: “This is welcome news and I am happy that IPI finally made the payment.”

House Floor Leader John Paul Sablan, who also chairs the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, said he, too, was happy to know that IPI had wired the annual license fee payment to the CNMI Treasury.

He said the legislative delegations of each senatorial district will still have to get an official certification from Finance before they can draft appropriation measures.

He noted that Public Law 20-10 allots $11 million of the casino license fee to Saipan; $2 million to Tinian; and $2 million to Rota. Of the $11 million for Saipan, $9.5 million will be appropriated by the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, and $1.5 million is for the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance program.

Sablan said the delegation’s Ways and Means Committee will draft a local appropriation measure for the $9.5 million.

“We need to look at pressing needs. I know that there are still a lot of ongoing recovery efforts. Also, we’re looking at helping the Public School System, as well,” Sablan said.