Bill to create 'rainy day fund’ introduced in CNMI

11:39 am on 15 January 2018

A bill to set aside five percent of taxes collected each year in case of a future economic disaster has been introduced in the Northern Marianas House of Representatives.

Saipan in the Northern Marianas.

Northern Marianas capital Sapian. Photo: Supplied

Under the so called "rainy day fund" bill, five percent of annual taxation would be placed in reserve until fiscal year 2028.

The reserve, which would be handled by the Commonwealth Reserve Fund Investment Board, would be used for economic development and diversification, infrastructure improvements, and medical healthcare facilities.

The CNMI currently is enjoying an upswing in its economy as a result of high tourist numbers and the creation of the Saipan casino.

The bill's author, House Speaker Rafael Demapan, said that the islands should set aside a portion of their bountiful revenues of late, in case there's an economic downturn, just like what happened when the garment industry left the Commonwealth in the mid-2000s.