CNMI Bill proposes 10 percent net revenue tax

A local member of parliament has introduced a bill that would impose a 10 percent tax on net gambling revenue, while House Gaming Committee Chairman Ralph Yumul has drafted another that would prevent Imperial Pacific from writing off unpaid credit from its tax obligations.

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

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,” it said.

The 10 percent revenue proposal was put forward by representative Tina Sablan and co-sponsored by House minority leader Edwin Propst.

The tax would be imposed on net gaming revenue and not gross and would give credit for the $15 million annual license fee Saipan’s only casino operator has already paid.

“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.