Taxpayers in the financially struggling Northern Marianas are now paying the car expenses of many of the US territory's lawmakers.
The car leases can exceed 8 thousand US dollars a year for each representative, before petrol allowances are taken into account.
The Saipan Tribune conducted a survey and found 11 of the 17 lawmakers it interviewed had government leased vehicles, with the remaining six saying they use their own vehicles to carry out their official duties.
Another 12 lawmakers didn't respond to the newspaper's query on car leases.
The CNMI is on a shoestring budget of 122 million dollars for the current fiscal year, down from the original 132 million because of revenue shortfalls.