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IPI starts paying vendors; Propst asks: How about government?

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IMPERIAL Pacific International has started paying over 100 of its vendors who are owed amounts ranging from $20,000 to $300,000.

House Minority Leader Edwin Propst said he is “happy to hear that finally, IPI, is now paying its obligations.” But he said he would also like to see the casino operator “start paying the taxes and other obligations it owes the government.”

In a statement, IPI said it “honors [its] business commitments and financial obligations.”

IPI said it has increased the number of its staff just to work on clearing outstanding payment requests.

“As a result, significant progress has been made on audit and clearing of payment requests,” IPI added.

IPI also said “it is actively working on an audit of the remaining payment requests.”

But two payment requests of over $300,000 from Pacific Rim and USA Fanter “are still outstanding due to the audit,” IPI said.

“We ask the vendors with payment requests between $20,000 and $300,000 to fully collaborate with our audit to ensure speedy payments,” IPI added.

“IPI appreciates the contribution by our business partners and will maintain our increased level of staff and effort in clearing payment requests,” the casino investor said.

In an interview, Propst said IPI should also pay what it owes the CNMI government.

“So when are they going to pay taxes?” he asked.

He also would like to know if IPI has contributed the $37 million in community benefit funds that it is supposed to remit to the CNMI government.

Propst said the Public School System is in “dire need of money and now is IPI’s best opportunity to contribute to the community chest fund” to benefit PSS.

IPI earlier said it had contributed to the CNMI government over $150 million in business gross revenue taxes since opening business in 2015. But IPI said it may have also overpaid its BGRT, adding that it was “working” with the Department of Finance “to resolve this issue.”

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