CNMI FACING US$5.8 MILLION BUDGET SHORTFALL

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 31) - The government needs an additional $5.87 million to fund its operations in the current fiscal year, a Department of Finance report showed.

According to Finance, the government is projected to spend $219.59 million by the end of the current fiscal year, but the budget law appropriated only $213.72 million

Finance said $212.89 million is projected to be collected for the fiscal year, of which $6.7 million will be used to pay some of the government’s mounting fiscal obligations.

Of the $212.89 million, $180.02 million is the projected total tax collection.

This includes $54.5 million in business gross revenue taxes; $32.95 million in wage and salary tax; $30.44 million in garment user’s fee; $21.69 million in excise taxes; and $20.85 million in personal/corporate income tax.

According to the report, the government continues to spend more than it has appropriated.

The report stated that in fiscal year 2001, the government spent $221.98 million but appropriated only $218.09 million. In fiscal year 2002, it spent $210.45 million but appropriated only $195.58 million.

In the first quarter of this fiscal year, the government spent $1.93 million more than what it had appropriated, according to the report.

The report stated that the government spent $48.49 million but appropriated only $46.55 million.

According to the report, $46.72 million in revenue was collected during the first quarter, of which $1.76 million was used to pay the government’s obligations.

Business gross revenue tax collection during the period amounted to $12.46 million. Wage and salary tax totaled $8.47 million; garment user’s fee, $7.23 million; excise tax, $4.79 million; and personal/corporate income tax, $2.93 million.

January 31, 2003

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