KOLONIA TOWN COMMERCIAL LEASE LEGISLATION...FOR WORSE OR BETTER?

edited April 2007 in General
It is interesting to note that a BILL in the making by the Pohnpei State Legislature will soon enable commercial lease properties in Kolonia Town be converted to private land ownerships, placing full cessation to annual land lease fee payments. A sigh for relief for the business community in Town. No more hefty annual land lease payments ever again.

I don't know if I should be equally celebrating the motive of this proposed BILL or should I be yelling---FOUL PLAY. For starters, these lease payments are amongst the chief primary resources for State government collected revenue, not to mention the LARGEST source of local revenue. With the obvious dwindling of revenue sources for the FSM States, Pohnpei has to come forth with a bold move to further weaken its primary sources of revenue.

I understand the benefits the BILL will have on the business community, but what about the adverse impact that is going to have on the State government? Understandly, one of the obvious reasons why Pohnpei has not yet joined Chuuk and Kosrae on the front lines of financial turmoils is largely due to it's sound legislations on land fees, dredging, sand-mining, construction, zoning, land survey and a zillion other fees imposed purely for the financial benefit of the State Government. Take those away and we would probably be the first in the red.

It is also interesting to take notice that the author of the proposed BILL is none other than the wealthy Senator, Yamaguchi of Kolonia Town who owns a substantial number of commercial leased properties in Town. It is my understanding that FSM Telecom pays a whopping $15,000 in annual commercial lease payments to State revenue. Telecom is but, only one of hundreds other commercial lease fee properties paid annually to the State. To do the math on paper, and taking into consideration the newly imposed hike in commercial lease payments took into effect in 2004, where computation is derivative of the square foot measurements of the lease property, it is an almost accurate estimate to say that the State Government may loose an approximate of $1. mil to $3. mil in local revenue if this BILL materializes.

I guess, and as usual, as citizens, expect for more tax rises and other service fees when our lawmakers finally wake up and realize that collective results are far fetched rewarding than self-enriched agendas and campaign schemes to win votes in November 2007.

Comments

  • edited April 2007
    Mr. Prince,

    Again- you are due another commendation for zealous and understandably self interest based fact finding on your part. Now I come to realize that your thoughts on this particular issue are derived from, probably, your employment status- which now I come to believe that your on the state government payroll.

    As much as I agree that the government needs some form of revenue generated from the private sector- I am highly opposed to the idea that revenues due the government should be collected from land uses or leases. I like to believe that fees collected from land users are to be strictly as a registration fee. Nominal amount is to be set based on processing of paperwork- if given the fairest amount of processing a registration on a piece of leased parcel, anywhere on Pohnpei for that matter, not only Kolonia- I assume that this nominal fee wouldn't surpass $5.00 (Five U.S Dollars) assuming the price of paper stays at it's normal average price of $0.10 each.

    On the other matter of the proposed bills Author's intentions. I would like to state that he is probably basing his proposal on constituency needs. I respect that some of our younger legislators are actually listening to the needs of the people. Thank you Senator Yamaguchi! We need more young leaders like you in our midst... in this time of private sector and private citizen neglect by our government.
  • According to my reliable source, the total cost of personnel, board members, adminsitrators, clerical, lawyers, janitorial, etc, involved in managing the public land authority inlcuding the records of commerical and residential leases in Kolonia is way up high compare to lease payments collected for the Pohnpei's treasury. PLA should collect lease payment from birds or turtle who reside on Minto reef and Oroluk and should discontinue only if and when someone is able to put up a successful and profitable business at those location. Government taxes is better when relates to business venture made successful by creativity and persuit of happiness. People should lease land at cost and report it as income tax or otherwise. Please fill me in on the right methodologies, if not success in other area beside Pohnpei.
  • I am not aware of any bill that would change the commercial leases to fee simple, similar to the 1999 Residential Conveyance Act that has allowed the residential leases to be transferred in fee simple to the lessees. By the very language of the commercial leases (and the enabling laws), I would think that it would not be possible to do that as commercial leases are available to Pohnpeians, FSM citizens, corporations fully owned by FSM citizens and/or foreignors with foreign investment permits (the first is the only entity permitted by the Pohnpei constitution to own land by fee simple). Prince, please check your facts again and of course if you find differently, do let us know. Kalahngan
  • I think Prince was referring to a supposed proposed bill by Sen. Yamaguchi that would in a sense be an "Amensty Bill" (Oh no! Not that again!) for businesses that operate on government leased lands designated as commercial lots in Kolonia. This bill will allegedly 'forgive' all such businesses that owe (4TY, AMBROS, etc)lease money on the commercial lots that they lease from the government.

    I think 4TY owes the most, hence the proposed bill.
  • Jack,

    Firstly, the Bill isn't to provide amnesty on all accrued lease payments. It is purely to provide rightful ownership of the property much like the on-going scheme with the residential lease lots in Town. This means, if the BILL comes through, I as a leasee of government commercial property would gain full ownership of the property provided, I don't have any outstanding or delinquent lease payments. It would have been alot better this way, to some extend.

    Baron,

    Yes, I agree that it will be of sincere benefit to Yamaguchi constituents. But certainly not to Pohnpei as a whole. The last thing we need is to begin conversion of revenue sources to free hand outs. The last I checked, the Trust Fund isn't anywhere close to being enough to fund continuity in Pohnpei's State Gov. portfolio after Compact 2. High expectations is in the air as we watch and monitor what lucrative step our government takes to reverse this situation. Certainly, aborting another source of revenue to the general fund purse ain't the wisest idea. Absolutely not!

    Kapwar Sou,

    You touched upon the many inside problems that must first be addressed before a cut to the revenue source can be entertained. Reduce overall gov't. expenditures and then, you can adjust the lease fees, and for that matter, all revenue induced avenues to the government. Otherwise, expect a deficit by year end.

    Pohnpei Mahs,

    Like you, not many are aware of this proposed BILL because it is still being debated between the respective legislative committees and has not reached the floor. Several people from the business communities and alike have been asked to provide their inputs on the idea. You guessed it, I opposed it heartedly when the R&D Committee could not answer the simple question of whether the cut in lease fees would hamper current and future budget projections if expenditures remain as is.

    Last but not the least, and for the record, If I was a gov't employee, I certainly would not find time to be in this forum. There's too much to be done than just sitting around the computer. I am but, a servant of an established NGO, that enables me much time to often provide my two cents worth in this forum.

    Thanks guys.
  • I stand corrected...but I still don't like the sounds of it. Especially, given that the introducer is a businessman whose establishment is on these leased lands?
  • Jack,

    That's the fishy part of the deal certain to raise eyebows if one would seriously weigh the pros and cons...........
  • edited April 2007
    Prince,
    Thanks for the response. I think we can arrive at some common ground- noting what you had posted earlier, I shall re-iterate the urgency of your proposition:

    You posted " Reduce overall gov't. expenditures"

    I think you nailed the bugga right in it's mongkoikoi. We cannot! and here is where the re-iteration comes in, repeat.. CAN NOT afford to pay leases on land- to run the government. The TT Secreterial order clearly stated that lands are to be administered by the PLA (entrusted to PLA for the people of Pohnpei). Again re-iteration- entrusted for the people. Now! why is the government generating revenues from land leases to run it's oversized operation? Please everyone.. I'm not against government revenues but it doesn't make sense to me to have the government collect land fees to run it's operations. Isn't this where the annual budgeting and forecasts come in to play. I'm telling you the insignificant amount of land lease fees will not be missed by the state. To iterate my point clearly: STOP MAKING MONEY OFF OF LANDS. GO AND MAKE MONEY FROM OTHER SOURCES BUT NOT LAND. If the other sources are not enough to run the big oversized government, then go by what Prince suggested,

    Re-iteration at it's most urgent sense: REDUCE OVERALL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES!!!
  • Baron my friend,

    Yes sir, you got that right. In case you haven't been informed, there is currently a pulling of all funds from every corner exercised by current administration which explains the recent shut down of the newly formed Pohnpei Health Insurance Company, consolidation of EDA under PFC (still being argued upon), reprogramming of the State PDLF source from local banks to PIDB, laid off laborers at PTA, the recent reluctance to host the next FSM Games and a string of other fund conservation methods to build a reservoir against possible calamities lingering on the horizon.

    In as far as the land lease fees paid, the land offices are not authorized to receive direct payments of such, instead payments are made at the State treasury dept. at which it is then re-classified in the broad general fund account as " local revenue. " I share equal sentiments of concerns why land should be an equal generating aspect for local revenue as you mentioned and it is about time we do away with that practice. However, because, such fees joins all other fees in their re-definition of local revenue, am afraid these payments equally make up the total sum of available funds to maintain operations of the State Gov't.

    Finally, as we both agree, unless serious assessments are made to identify what and where significant reductions should take place in the Gov't. expenditure portfolio, we must remain at alarm whenever a cut in obvious revenue sources is being sought after by our Gov't. My best bet is, if expenditures stay as is, then a fair percentage of the lost in land lease fees will eventually be washed off into taxes for you and I to shoulder. By the way, the proposed BILL to raise minimum wages for State Gov't. employees in an already very tight annual budget was introduced prior to this proposed cut-off of land lease fees. It just doesn't add up. Isn't the current State Planner (advisor to the Governor) the same dude that screwed the FSM SS Program in the 80s?
  • edited May 2007
    Prince,

    O.K- O.K ! Nahn, kitahil pahn anahne tehkada dah me karehda payments pwukat kin re-classified, duwehte dahme ke patohwan powe, oh ihs me pahn kak wekidala songen dodohk suwed duwehte met. Kitail tamatan me Secreterial order me patohdo pahn TT Gov. conveyance en luen sahpw koaros, dene kapwukoaki Opis en sahpw en apwahpwalioang aramas luen sahpw pwukat.. eri- luen sahpwakat ahpw met wiahlah mehn generate revenue. Pwehki trust fund o wiepe wiawiheng oh conversion de re-classification ape pil patoiengehr powe oh wiahla dah? General Fund?.. Nahn! dahme sapwung wasa kiset nahn?!! I kamehlele me petehk sapahl pahn anahne wiawi oh mwehin ih wasa kiset me Senator Yamaguchi songosong en apwalihala. Eri ei utuht doke soun kou kosoned koaros me pahn iang utung kapwungupwungla wet! Nan November ire pwukat oh isingehkan me iang utung de sohte utuhng pah sansalohng wei pokon en Pehi Sarawi wet. ..Eralahr..

    I sohte patohwan pahki kisin lepin mahsan iou me komw ketin mahsanih powe- iet :
    "am afraid these payments equally make up the total sum of available funds to maintain operations of the State Gov't."


    Kalahngan kompokopahi Prince, Ni ei wahunikin komwi oh masakala delahr. Kaselehlie maing..
  • Hey Baron, hey Prince,

    Just in (and I knew this was the real reason for the bill. Remember that fishy smell? Well, g-damnit, I found the source!)
    Section 1 of the bill states: "Rent and Other charges on commercials leases waived. The current balances of rent and other charges due to the Public Lands Trust Board of Trustees on all commercial leases are hereby waived. Future rent payments on existing leases are hereby temporarily waived; PROVIDED that such payments may be reinstated by statute."
    Source: Kaselehlie Press, May 02, 2007.

    So in essence, this bill will waive the outstanding amounts due on commercial lots (not residential!) and future payments are temporarily waived but can be reinstated at a later date. Man! What a deliberate move of self-gain by this Yamaguchi guy! I owed on a residential lot but paid in full in the year 2005 but have yet to see the Certificate of Title that was promised by a law that is in effect for residential lots in Kolonia. Now Marvin introduces this bill to erase his debts but reserves the power to reinstate the lease payments at a later date (possibly when his business outlook has improved since no more dues on the lease!)

    Oh my, for goodness sakes where is this character's conscience? This is the guy you trying to defend Baron? Since ever since, lots in Kolonia were leased lots, both Commercial and Residential. Your post above Baron, pertains to luhwen sahpw. Lots in Kolonia are not luhwen sahpw. They are lots that were made available to people (in the '60's I believe) that went through an application process wherein they promised to pay certain fees for the residential or commercial occupancy of such lots. I am all for paying lease for these lots because eventually the money I pay for lease will come back full circle in the form of some sort of gov't service to the people. I am a responsible citizen of this government and as such will pay my share to ensure that this government of the people, by the people & for the people remains that way and not subject to the whims and self-gain of the few in power.

    By the way,
    1. Despite 3 weeks of repeated and exhaustive efforts by the KP to reach Marvin for comments, he was unreachable,
    2. Currently, only 5 signatures are on the bill.
  • Lol@Baron.

    Maing kompoakepai. Re ketin kupwure sin aramas mehn ngehi pwe ien kak wahrong sapwelimwomwi koasoam en wahu. Komw kamangai kupwuroamwien pwe sin roropwel mehn ngehiet en kak pateng sapwelimwomwi mamahsen kan sang met oh patohla mowe.

    Ih patowen kamehlele me ele ahi tungoal ire kan nan forum wet kin ekei pak nohn koang oh kamedek ong isingekan oh wasahkan me eh kin dohke, apw komw kupwure pwe kaidehn ineng suwed ehu met rehi, apw eh sang ni weikoaklahn lamalam ki soangkan me pein kitail aramas kin patowen sohte itarki rehn irail kan me tungoalenki pwukoan kainene sapairair de kahpwal kan me kitail aramas wie sosopahi de pahn sohpai nan rahnakan me pahn patohdo mwur nan sapwelimatail government pohn sapwelimatail pei sarawi, Pohnpei.

    Komw mwangi sou itar kan me mie nan sapwelimatail government eri ih sohte anahne wehkada. Kamwekid me weliepe Yamaguchi songohsong wia ong sapwelimatail commercial lease lots kan nan Kolonia Town sohte suwed pwe eh pahn kamangaila kasapwasapw nan Kolonia Town. Ihte wasa peikasal mie, ma kalopalahn isais kan ong sapw en government pwukat sou pahn wiada madap laud ehu nan mwohni kan me kin rikirikda sang aramas ong nan kopwou lap en State treasury pwe en apwalih sapis kan me government tungoalenki ong aramas. Ih ire wet me irail soun kou kosonned kan saik kak sapeng. Rapw mehn doulate nan kaloplahn isais en lease lots kan.

    Ong me pida wiepen rikirikdahn lease payments kan oh dahme eh kin wiakila kisehn sent en local revenue, ih sohte kak kaweweh ni mengei, apw komwi en mwangi me lease payments pwukat sohte wekisang fees kan me rahsong driver's license fees, vehicle registration fees, taxes oh soang teikan me kin pweipweidi ong State oh FSM revenue. Ih fees pwukat me wia poason en local revenue. Meht likin mwohni en Compact. Mwohni en Compact sohte kin wadawadong local revenue pwe kaidehn mwohni me lohdisang pein sapwelimatail revenue. Ih sohte kamelehle me mie wiepe ehu me pahn kak wekidala wiepen lease payments kan pwe en dehr wia kisehn mwohni en local revenue. Ia pahn ede?

    Kalangan en kupwuromwi pwehki ire kesempwal kan me komwi kin sairada nan forum wet. Ih pil pahn kaskasik sapwelimwomwi erepit en kaweid oh kainene wasa kan me ahi tungoal pato de madmadau pahn pwek, pwe ih karehpen atail ket nan forum wet, pwe kitail en peiaudaudki pene ire kan me pahn kak kamaraini kitail ki mwekid kan nan sapwelimatail weihn Pohnpei oh pil FSM.

    Ni wahu, kalahngan oh kasehlelia ong komwi.
  • Jack,

    Temporarily waived huh? interesting. Now that's an even highly questionable motive, don't you think?
  • Kalahngan iengei- Prince!

    Mie kisin wasah kis me i aniki peikasal ie: komw ketin kupwurei ie.. Ma lease payments pwukat duwetehte drivers licence oh registration en sdohsa ape, ah.. I wasaht me i mehn kitahn tehk mah.. Aramas teikan koaros nan Pohnpei me sapwaniki sahpw- me sang sohso ape- sohte kin anahne iang pwain fees pwukat. Eri ma kita pwuralahng kosondi me san TT Government me kasohsohki Ohpis en sahpw- luwen sapw kaoros me mihmi nan kolonia kat- e patohwan me Opis en sahpw pahn apwahpwalih sahpw pwukat ohng aramas lao sahpwakat kosonsondi. Eri maing, I kamehlele me ele e lelehr ansoun kosonson en luwen sahpw pwukat. Ihme elehda en Senator Yamaguchi ah tungol kamwakid wet. Kaidehn e sang ni pehin ah insen ahpw kamwakid wet sang en aramas tohto kei me elehda kamwakid me Yamaguchi wihwia ahnsou kiset.

    Pwe ien pil ka umwusekihala ei kisin iren kapatapat wet: I kamehlele me ele e pil lelehr ansou mwahu me Opis en sahpw en ketikiong nan pehn aramas en Pohnpei kan luwen sahpw akan me re kolokol oh apwahpwalihong aramas- Pwe kosondi en TT Government o en pweida ni sonamwahu oh pwung. Ah kaidehn Opis en sahpw en wiahkila arail mehn wie sent fees pwukat pwen pil iang kapatapatoang songen fees teikan me komw masanih powe.

    lelodo met maing Prince i kin pil dihdiarete lepin mahsenekei me inenen uhoang ei lamalam oh kin pwupw pahn category en sapa! sang nan pwungen mahmahsan pwung teikan me komw kin seuseuesehkin kit koaros nan forum wet. it ehu:

    "lease payments pwukat sohte wekisang fees kan me rahsong driver's license fees, vehicle registration fees, taxes oh soang teikan me kin pweipweidi ong State oh FSM revenue. Ih fees pwukat me wia poason en local revenue."
    Met maing Prince- kaidehn lemei- ahpw e kak mih nan category en sawehwe ape.
  • Anyone of you posters from the Kolonia Town office? Will you please help us to fix our road to MicSem? Right now, a couple of young guys are fixing the ditches after the March and April rains washed down the coral fillings all the way down to the naniak. We've been visiting your office repeatedly ever since 2005 and asking the Mayor of Kolonia Town to help to fix the road, but nothing ever happens. Mr. Dohsis Halbert already made it clear that he's not going to help us with our road even though it's within his jurisdiction. I'm sure some of you Kolonia Town posters are very powerful people in your town. Will you please help MicSem's road to be at least concrete if not paved? It's a public road, you know. People use our library for research, people use our conference room for conferences, workshop, etc.; some of them are students who need to use our library. Please help to upgrade our road. We cannot afford to fix it ourselves.
  • THE PROPOSED BILL ASIDE, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE FEE CHARGED BY THE GOVERNMENT IS RIDICILIOUS COMPARED TO THE SIZE OF OUR ISLAND ECONOMY. IF THE PREVAILING ARGUEMENT IS THAT THE LEASE PAYMENTS ARE A SUBSTANTIAL (EMPHASIS ADDED)CONTRIBUTOR TO THE LOCAL REVENUE, THEN I'M AFRAID THIS WILL NOT LAST. I AGREE THAT THERE SHOULD BE SOME FEES PAID HOWEVER WHEN THE GOVERNMENT INITIATED THE NEW FEE STRUCTURE, THEY WERE ONLY LOOKING AT WHAT CAN BE COLLECTED IN TERMS OF INCREASING THEIR REVENUE. I WOULD ASSUME THAT THERE WAS NO FORMAL ANALYSIS DONE TO COME UP WITH A SUSTAINABLE FEE STRUCTURE OR A GRADUATED FEE IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE. THE HIGHER FEES CHARGED BY THE GOVERNMENT CAN BE EASILY ABSORBED BY THE LESSORS WHO ARE REAPING THE "BUCKS" - TELECOM, ACE COMMERCIAL, SENNY'S, INS, WALL MART, 4TY. WHAT ABOUT THE MOM AND POPS BUSINESS WHO ARE JUST STRUGGLING TO KEEP THEIR BUSINESS GOING? WHEN THEY CAN'T PAY ANYMORE, WILL THE GOVERNMENT TAKE IT AWAY AND HAND THEM OVER TO THE "BIG BUSINESSES"? IF THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT REVISIT ITS FEE STRUCTURES OR IMPLEMENT A GRADUAL FEE IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE, THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS, ALL COMMECIAL LOTS WILL BE OWNED BY ONLY A FEW WHO HAVE THE MONEY, NEVER MIND THE REST OF THE POHNPEI STATE CONSTITUENTS.
  • Gunner makes real good points. Some small businesses need the help to survive and are already at bigg disadvantage.

    But what about people who have commercial lots that turn around and lease space on those lots to big players for big bucks? Many of those people dun even live in the FSM, pay no taqxes in FSM, and make no contributions at all to FSM economy. It would be crazy to let them pay nothing when the people who do live here are poor and the poorest don even have access to free commercial lots to run a mom and pop store or sell space to others.

    And if revenue drops to make rishest even richer, taxes will have to increase to make up for it making poorest even poorer.
  • PRINCE AM DISAPROVING YOUR PLAN TO TAX THE PEOPLE FROM LAND FEE. YOUR RONG MAN!
  • How much land does the senior Yamaguchi acquire while he was at Court of Land Tenure? I think the evidence will show quite a lot. Isn't that a conflict of interest? What about the current proposed bill by Marvin Yamaguchi? This also has some element of conflict because 4TY sits on some commercial properties. Maybe the father and son discussed this to be goodfor their businesses and the Senator decided to introduce this proposed bill. He recently went on government business to Manila, but the main thing he did was recruitment of 10 skilled workers for his current $700,000 project with PPA - a bid that could be questionable or unfair. A lot of political influence to get the bid.
  • Man....y'all are screaming and moaning bout gov't services being inadequate and all and yet you also scream about paying a small fee for running a business on gov't property such as Kolonia commercial lots? This is classic example of wanting cake and icing too. What we are is spoiled. We are ready to bitch every cent that we pay as tax, be it in lease form of deductions from our bi weekly pay, yet we also bitch that such service is not adequate (see discussion about Kolonia Town Council).

    I say if you are seroious enuf about opening a business in Kolonia, you should figure in the cost of leasing the lot from the gov't. That is a way of being a responsible citizen.

    Don't y'all realize that this is not good practice for a poor nation as FSM? What we need to make up for the shortage of funding is to tax, tax, and tax. Tourism will never work out here in FSM. The fishing industry will never work out here in the FSM. The reality of it is that these 2 industries that we have dreamt about since day 1 of FSM Gov't will never work out in our lifetime and maybe in our children's lifetimes. We don't know how to make ourselves presentable for tourists and don't know how to run/operate a fishing industry that will ensure self sufficiency so the alternative is to tax--What Marvin is proposing is to take a step backwards in progress and cut off a valuable source of income for the gov't.

    Reinstate it Marvin. Leave it alone. Like the saying goes, "Don't fix it if it ain't broke!"...and I'm telling you it ain't broke!
  • Hey Jack,

    How much money you make to afford the tax? If you are happy paying this tax can we say that you may do so as your contribution to HELP the government while those of us whom cant afford be allowed to benefit from such legislation. Furthermore, I am a pwilidak to Pohnpei as defined in the constitution and the only piece of dirt I own because I am a Pohnpeian citizen is not free? Why do others have the luxury of FREE LAND while I don’t? Why government land is not taxed in other municipalities such as in Mand and Pohn Langas? COM-FSM is not paying rent, the FSM government is not also but why only me. Why is it that only Kolonia town lots are designated as commercial leases by the government upon those citizenry. Is this a fair law? But yet while I’m busting my ass off paying land tax, JOSE is squatting on government land planting sakau, selling it for profit and not a Jack of penny is taxed. Other squatters are geven the legislators whom by constitutional statutes oversees LAND DESIGNATION and they don’t pay fee’s why am I an up right citizen the designated beast of burden to bear the governments luxury.

    You know Jack don’t bother answering I know the answers. ABOLISH the department of land. They are only a burden to the government. Privatize land registration and surveying tasks. ABOLISH the commercial leases and award incentive to current land owners to lease property for commercial use. Create friendly business atmosphere by legislation to attract foreign investment upon these lands. THEN re-draft current tax laws to ensure that taxes derived from this spurt of business growth is pumped back to where it came from in terms of governmental infrastructure such as roads, sewage, etc. I believe that the government should not be in the business of making business out of peoples lands after all it is the duty of the government to safeguard land for the people to benefit. Not to tax them to float a dysfunctional operation.

    Lastly, IF YOUR BROKE as in NO MONEY NO HONEY you need a good fixin.
  • SAMPIO,

    I'M GLAD YOU ARE BACK FROM OREGON. TELL EM LIKE IT IS.
  • I stand to defend the good senator!
    He is only but the messenger of the people. The people of Kolonia Town have spoken loudly! We do not want to be taxed or charged fees for land. Period
  • and good morning to you too sampio. but before you go on further I recommend you widen sang pwunan ni mesemwen, ih me ke maskun ki...he, he,...

    First of all, the tax that we are discussing and which is already in place is for the business/commercial lots only. The residential lots are now subject to be given to the landowners with a Certificate of Title that will enable the landowner to do what he please; residential or commercial with no liability for tax on that land since it is the landowners property. The commerical lots, though belong to the gov't and are subject to tax which is in the form of lease payments because after all these are most likely the 'well-to-do' that own these commercial lots and if they can start a business up in the commercial lots (like the new business establishment next to Do It Best, right Gunner??) they sure as hell can afford the very minimal charge that is imposed by the gov't for these business people to pay which, listen up now Sampio lest that pwunan blind you, goes back to the gov't to provide other services to the people like paving roads or other public services.

    Your analogy of Jose squatting on public land or COM not paying lease is because these are not commercial lots made available to the people like the commercial lots are in Kolonia. The area in question is the commercial lots in Kolonia which were subject to lease payments way before you were born and dihdi-ing my friend.

    So before you post an answer to an issue, read thru the whole issue,make sure you understand what the debate is about and join in the debate...it would also help to kihsang pwunan first too! Later amigo
  • lol@kisang pwunan!

    Hahahaha, nahn Jack, you need some sakau. When do you get back in town? Ring me. Imma karauke that 100 years old plant out back. bring the bud lites. lol.

    Seriously though folks,

    My intention for bringing this subject out in the open is to enable us to openly discuss amongst ourselves the intention of this proposed BILL and its impacts it will have on the business community and the residents of Kolonia as well. Something that we, the citizen were never given that opportunity to do so by our lawmakers prior to attempting to place a legislation on the issue. A complete ignorance on the views of the vast kolonia Town leased lot owners, I could only conclude. A good elected official lawmaker would at the least, place this on Referendum and have the Kolonia Town residence vote on this.

    Gunner,

    You touched on some of my real points here. Ridiculous lease structured fees. For your info, the recent hike in the fees surfaced in 2006 but was actually made into
    law through S.L. 1L-155-87, in 1995 which made cause for the Department of Land's Board of Trustees to promulgate a new increased tariff structure for rentals of public lands in the state. In that new tariff structure, all commercial leases were increased to $0.50 per square meter per year. But, it is later broken down to say that all NEW and RENEW commercial leases are charged $1.00 per square mtr. per year for Importing retail businesses and $1.50 per sq. mtrs. per year for all importing wholesalers. Indeed, much increase was made overnight on these lease fees. Most commercial lease fees went from something like $22/yr payments to $1,092/yr. A whooping 98% increase. I would have to agree, that to impose such an abrupt drastic fee aross the board on the business leases given poor economic conditions is perhaps designed to give riddance of rising competitions from smaller mom and pops outlets.

    Morder'

    I think you need to remove a punan too, that way to the punan room, son ========================================>

    Thanks guys, :-)
  • Very interesting information there, Prince. The lease rates are actually distinguished based on relationship with imports? In other words, lessees are paying higher lease rates based on the degree of their business involvement with interstate/foreign commerce? The Kolonia Town Council ought to be careful dreading so close to burdening/discriminating against foreign commerce. The trend in the authorities is toward favoring/protecting the national commerce powers from local discriminations. NOt to mention locally camoflauged taxes on import. Risky business for the Council to administer such lease rates structures.
  • Taxi,

    Thanks for joining. Yes, the lease fees varies per type of import business (e.g. retail or wholesale), and it does not stop there. Here's what State Law 1L-155-87, Section 5 and Section 11(3) has promulgated the State Board of Trustees of the Pohnpei State Land Trust to publish and advice:

    " Following are sets of public land rates to be charged by the Public Lands Board of Trustees Department of Land in the State of Pohnpei: "

    A. ALL THE NEW PUBLIC LAND AND RENEW LEASES WILL BE CHARGED ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING:

    1. All new and renew Residential Lease will be adjusted to $0.10 per square meter per year;
    2. All new and renew Commercial Leases inclusive of retails, none importing commercial leases will be adjusted to $0.50 per saure meter per year;
    3. All the importing retails commercial leases will be $1.00 per square meter per year;
    4. All the importing wholesalers commercial leases will be adjusted to $1.50 per square meter per year;
    5. Public Corporations leases will be $2.00 per square meter per year;

    B. LEASES FOR COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIES ON ANY PUBLIC LANDS:
    Industry will include manufacturing, assembling for wholesale of export, or any value added process for wholesale or export.

    1. Rate will be calculated on 5% on the capital used in each separate industry or $2.00 per square meter per year whichever is greater;

    C. SANDMINING AND CORAL DREDGING FEE AND ROYALTIES:

    1. One payment of $200.00 for each application for dredging of sand mining or coral dredging or other kind of mining;
    2. One payment of $25.00 for each application by non-profit organization such as PTA (Pohnpei Transportation Authority), Local Governments, etc.;
    3. There will be a royalty fee of $1.50 for every cubic yard taken out of public owned reefs and sand beds. This is when if the dredged materials will be for
    profit making.
    4. There is a $0.25 royalty fee for a cubic yard of dredged or mined materials out of public owned reef and sand beds. This is for non-profit operations. If a
    government owned agency dredging or mining for sale will be treated like any profit making corporation.

    D. LEASED PUBLIC LAND UNDER TRANSFER OF TITLES DEALS DUTIES:

    In case of title transfer, all documents will be received and approved by the Board of Trustees before any transfer is official.

    PERCENTAGE TOTAL AMOUNT OF DEAL
    2% $0....................$10,000
    4% 10,001...............$20,000
    6% 20,001...............$50,000
    8% 50,001...............$75,000
    10% 75,001...............$100,000
    12% 100,001................UP

    E. FISHERIES CHARGES

    1. Payment of $200.00 accompany application for a fisheries activity application. One time payment and its non-refundable;
    2. An Established Cost will be determined by the length of each vessel and tonnage. There is an annual rate of $50.00 per foot plus $120.00 a ton. This is the use
    right charge.

    F. TOURISTS AND SPORT BOAT FEE:

    1. There is an application fee of $150.00 which is paid when the application is filed. This is non-refundable.
    2. Established Cost or Use Right Cost be determined by the length of boat plus the tonnage of each vessel (boats) mooring at the Causeway. The fee is $50.00 a
    foot plus $120.00 a ton. This is paid annually by the Company or Entrepreneur;
    3. There is a daily charge for each tourist who is using the facilities on a pid tour. The charge is $5.00 per person. This charge will be paid on a monthly basis;

    G. REPAIR MARINE CRAFTS:

    1. Same as above (F.1);
    2. There is an annual charge for total square feet established by lessee and Department of Land. There is a $0.75 fee for every square meter;
    3. There is a 3% duty on the net profit on every boat repair by the company;

    H. MORTGAGES, FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION HOUSING AND OTHER PROCESS:

    There will be a Processing Fee of $25.00 for every package paid in advance by the applicant.

    I. THE SAID TARIFF IS REPEALING AND REPLACE ALL OTHER PUBLIC LAND TARIFFS THAT ARE THE SAME OR SIMILAR TO THE ABOVE:

    *********************************************************

    Just some more existing fees that comes alongwith the Public land fees. All made possible through allowance by legislation and if someone was really concerned about these infringing fees' adverse impact on trying to keep a business upright, shouldn't one be thinking about expanding moratorium on the other sectors as well and not just the Public Land fees for the sake of the whole and not just those with numerous leased properties in Kolonia Town? I dunno man, and regardless of the arguments, I remain unappreciative of the current motive.

    thanks again, don't mind me, just my conscience acting up.
  • Prince,

    Thank you for the information on the public land fees and commercial rates. It's good to have the correct data in the background while discussing the issue regarding the proposed bill by Marvin Yamaguchi. I also agree with you that the motive is too selective and not comprehensive enough to address all stakeholders on the issue of public land and business fees. The burden that comes with being a pubic official is high and thus careful research is needed to aid their efforts, otherwise their efforts run the risk of being labelled as whimsical, self-serving and discriminatory. Strong citizen participation in our government is critical. While I like this forum discussion, we all need to direct our concerns to our representatives in Legislature. Associations of private citizens, business organizations need to send letters to express our collective concerns to the Legislature.
  • Prince,

    Email me at northwestpine@comcast.net so that we can do something further about these concerns. Or I could call you at your office. I have your number and know who you are. Like minded folks need to work together.

    Take care my friend
  • So Prince, the proposed scheme of 'pay up and own' for the residential lots is out the window? If so, that sucks cause mine is paid in full with the promise that a Cert of Title is on the way.


    PS: I get back Friday and why 100 year old? No 101 year old? Need to dicuss the Bday issue, eh? Friday nite.
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