SAIPAN – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Rep. Tina Sablan on Tuesday expressed concern about the Marianas Visitors Authority budget proposal for fiscal year 2021.
“It has been reported that the [MVA board of directors] approved a raise for you, Ms. Iakopo, at the last board meeting. Is that accurate?” Sablan asked MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo during the budget hearing conducted by the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Iakopo responded, “Yes, that is accurate. However… We’re still processing the contract.” She said the decision was made by the MVA board.
Iakopo reported that of the 34 total MVA employees, 23 have been furloughed.
MVA is funded primarily by hotel occupancy tax collections.
For fiscal year 2021, MVA expects to receive close to $9 million. The Northern Marianas government still owes MVA $8.7 million in hotel occupancy tax collections from previous years.