The Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Benigno Fitial, has rejected a bill lowering user fees to be paid by garment factories.
The Saipan Tribune quotes the governor saying the reduction would only cause the government to lose more revenues, while doing little to help the apparel industry.
Mr Fitial said at a time of severe economic need, the Commonwealth couldn't afford to reduce this important source of revenues for the CNMI.
In his State of the Commonwealth Address last week, the Govenor reported that total government revenue from all taxes and fees paid by garment factories had declined from nearly $80 million in 2001 to
$30 million in 2007.
The single largest garment tax, the Customs user fee, has dropped from $37 million to $11.5 million for the same period.