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Thu May 7, 2020, 05:59 AM

CNMI senators mull imposing fees on remittances

WITH the arrival of stimulus checks for which many nonresident workers are eligible, the Senate Committee on Fiscal Affairs discussed on Tuesday the possibility of imposing a “certain amount of fee” on money sent out of the CNMI.

The committee invited Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig and Assistant Attorney General for Revenue and Taxation Dustin Rollins who attended the meeting via teleconference.

There is no formal draft bill yet, said the Fiscal Affairs Committee chairman, Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, but he added that a “vehicle bill” stating the intent of the proposal was sent to the Division of Revenue and Taxation, which is under the Department of Finance.

According to Rollins, “The proposed legislation violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it discriminates against interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause operates to prohibit state regulatory activities, which unduly burden interstate commerce. Facially discriminatory state laws interfering with interstate commerce are virtually always per se invalid. The proposed legislation imposes fees on remittances abroad and to other U.S. jurisdictions, but exempts ‘transmitting money or monetary value that is to only be received or retrieved at a physical location within the CNMI.’ Thus, because the law only imposes a fee on interstate transactions (and excludes intrastate transaction) it is facially discriminatory and violates the Commerce Clause as a result.”

Read more: https://www.mvariety.com/cnmi-local/73-local/3547-senators-mull-imposing-fees-on-remittances

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