Saipan government officials have proposed the implementation of a 10% tax on net gambling revenue at Imperial Palace‧Saipan after it was revealed recently that the IR’s operator, Imperial Pacific International (IPI), had paid just US$41,000 in business gross revenue tax since July 2018.
In a double blow for IPI, the Chairman of the House Gaming Committee, Ralph Yumul, has also moved to prevent the company deducting unpaid credit from revenue in determining its tax obligations.
As reported by Marianas Variety, a bill introduced by Yumul this week states, “No deduction shall be allowed from gross revenues for the unpaid balance of any obligation or credit extended for gambling or gaming.”
It adds that 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.”
Asked about the imposition of a new 10% tax aimed at recouping more tax revenue from IPI, House Minority Leaders Edwin Propst described the option as being “actually very kind” given it would be based on net gaming revenue rather than gross gaming revenue. He also said IPI would be alllowed to use the US$15 million license fee it has already paid against its gaming tax obligations.
“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 said.
It was revealed in April that IPI had paid just US$41,000 in Business Gross Revenue Tax (BGRT) since 1 July 2018, well down from the US$40.9 million IPI paid in 2016, US$67.7 million in 2017 and US$43.6 million in 2018.