VIDEO: New Bills in CNMI Aim to Raise Revenue, End Fiscal Crisis

172

Guam – Several new bill introduced in the CNMI this year are aimed at boosting revenue, without raising taxes, in hopes of ending the Commonwealth’s fiscal crisis.

Aside from the airline incentive airline program to boost tourism, the Fitial administration and the Legislature also want to review Article 12 of the CNMI Constitution and introduce two new measures to lift the Commonwealth from its economic doldrums.

Article 12, or the land alienation provision of the CNMI Constitution, restricts land ownership to people of Northern Marianas descent. Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and CNMI lawmakers want to extend terms for private land leases in the CNMI to the currently allowed 55 years.

The Fitial administration and the Legislature also want to introduce bills that will remove the current $250 million price tag to privatize the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and amend the smoking law to allow smoking on hotel balconies.

Fitial earlier said his administration will submit its proposed bill on the $6.2 million Marianas Visitors Authority airline incentive program to the Legislature.

Under the tourism campaign, MVA will provide a $100 incentive to travel agents for every passenger they will be bring to Saipan from the Japanese cities of Osaka and Nagoya during so-called low peak periods.