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VIDEO: CNMI Report - Businesses Cry Foul Over Huge Increases in Permit Fees

Saipan - Businesses in the CNMI are crying foul over proposed amendments to the Fire Safety Code, with permits going up from $20 to $500 or from $20 to $10,000.



According to a report in the Saipan Tribune, what used to be a $20 annual permit for storing or handling aerosol products will go up to $500. That is a 2,400% increase.

In addition, the $20 permit to operate aircraft refueling vehicles will become $1,000. Other $20 permits will go up to $5,000 and even $10,000 an increase of 49,900 percent.

Even a $10 permit for putting up a Christmas tree will go up to $100.

Saipan Chamber of Commerce president Douglas Brennan has asked Gov. Fitial to withdraw and amend the new fire permit fees to truly reflect actual costs associated with “necessary, responsible and valuable fire inspections and permitting” for all CNMI commercial establishments.

CNMI businesses cry foul over hikes in fire code permits

Businesses in the CNMI now have one other set of drastically increased rates to deal with and these are associated with proposed amendments to the Fire Safety Code, with permits going up from $20 to $500 or from $20 to $10,000 or by up to 49,900 percent, for example.

The $20 annual permit for storing or handling aerosol products, for example, will go up to $500—a 2,400-percent increase from the 1999 rates based on Department of Public Safety Fire's proposed amendments. Amendments in 2005 didn't reflect changes in the fee schedule.

The $20 permit to operate aircraft refueling vehicles will become $1,000. Some $20 permits will go up to $5,000, while some $20 permits will go up to $10,000—an increase of 49,900 percent. Even a $10 permit for putting up a Christmas tree will go up to $100.

Saipan Chamber of Commerce president Douglas Brennan earlier asked Gov. Benigno R. Fitial to withdraw and amend the new fire permit fees to truly reflect actual costs associated with “necessary, responsible and valuable fire inspections and permitting” for all CNMI commercial establishments.

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