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By John Ravelo

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Feb. 1) - The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Department of Finance has notified the federal court of the close to $600,000-tax lien it is levying on Telesource CNMI Inc., the company involved in the construction of the multimillion-dollar Saipan prison project.

Revenue and Taxation director Estrellita S. Ada said the CNMI government has demanded payment for the liability, but the company has yet to settle the obligation.

The alleged unpaid taxes, which total exactly $592,324.58, cover tax periods from 2001 to 2003.

"Therefore, there is a lien in favor of the CNMI on all property and rights to property belonging to the taxpayer for the amount of these taxes and any additional penalties, interest and costs that may accrue," the notice stated.

Construction work on the prison project slowed down sometime last year, with Telesource complaining about the government's delayed payments. Work on the project picked up in Sept. 2003, after Public Works Secretary Juan S. Reyes disclosed that the government has made available the $17-million funding for the project.

The government also notified the court about tax liens levied on six other entities. Including that of Telesource, the alleged unpaid taxes reached $664,803.06.

The CNMI assessed businessman Eleodoro N. Quezada some $32,944.33; Clean Earth Inc., $19,939.56; United Saipan Investment Inc., $10,553.25; Ramon M. and Francisca B. Aldan, $2,181.47; Richard N. Cody, $4,782.68; and A.A.A. Associates Inc., $2,077.19.

February 2, 2004

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