FSM Finance and Administration transmits revised domestic revenue projections

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

January 14, 2018

FSM—This morning, FSM’s Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration, Sihna N. Lawrence sent revised domestic revenue projections to Congress.  The previous projections were revised upward by $4 million from approximately $77 million to $81 million.  In her letter to Speaker Wesley W. Simina, Lawrence wrote that the revision was due to a misunderstanding that had just been resolved that morning.  The additional $4 million is the result of additional fishing access fees.

The revenue projections listed the actual revenues for the previous three years.  The actuals from FY 2016 and 2017 are audited figures while the FY 2018 actuals are pre-audited preliminary figures.  The FY 2019 projections are $27 million less than in FY 2016, the lowest of the actual domestic revenues listed and $113 million less than last year.  Previous actual domestic revenues in FY 2016 were $108 million. They were $137 million in 2017. Last year they were $194 million.

The most consistent source of revenue over the last three years has been Fishing Access Revenues, which in 2016 were over $63 million.  In 2017 they were nearly $73 million, and last year they were $68 million.  The revenue projection for fishing access revenue for 2019 is $59 million.

National Tax revenue in 2016 was nearly $13 million; nearly $14 million in 2017, but only nearly $9 million in 2018.  The projection for 2019 is for a million dollar increase in those revenues to nearly $10 million.

The source of revenue with the largest fluctuation according to the Domestic Revenue Projections is Non-National Tax Revenue—taxes collected from businesses with Captive Insurance companies in the FSM.  In 2016 the FSM realized nearly $6 million from that source. In 2017 the figure was nearly $23 million.  In 2018 the figure was an astounding $82 million.

An employee of the Department of Finance and Administration said that the $82 million had not been a surprise and that figure had been included in the domestic revenue projections for 2018.  This year there is no such large figure waiting on the horizon.  This year’s projection for Non-National Tax Revenue is a conservative $4 million.

Secretary Lawrence’s revenue projections show that there is a total of over $5 million available for appropriation.

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