Article 7: United States Financial Assistance
The Government of the United States will assist the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands in its efforts to achieve a progressively higher standard of living for its people as part of the American economic community and to develop the economic resources needed to meet the financial responsibilities of local self-government. To this end, the United States will provide direct multi-year financial support to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for local government operations, for capital improvement programs and for economic development. The initial period of such support will be seven years, as provided in Section 702.
Approval of this Covenant by the United States will constitute a commitment and pledge of the full faith and credit of the United States for the payment, as well as an authorization for the appropriation, of the following guaranteed annual levels of direct grant assistance to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for each of the seven fiscal years following the effective date of this Section:
(a) $8.25 million for budgetary support for government operations, of which $250,000 each year will be reserved for a special education training fund connected with the change in the political status of the Northern Mariana Islands;
(b) $4 million for capital improvement projects, of which $500,000 each year will be reserved for such projects on the Island of Tinian and $500,000 each year will be reserved for such projects on the Island of Rota; and (c) $1.75 million for an economic development loan fund, of which $500,000 each year will be reserved for small loans to farmers and fishermen and to agricultural and marine cooperatives, and of which $250,000 each year will be reserved for a special program of low interest housing loans for low income families.
(a) The United States will make available to the Northern Mariana Islands the full range of federal programs and services available to the territories of the United States. Funds provided under Section 702 will be considered to be local revenues of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands when used as the local share required to obtain federal programs and services.
(b) There will be paid into the Treasury of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, to be expended to the benefit of the people thereof as that Government may by law prescribe, the proceeds of all customs duties and federal income taxes derived from the Northern Mariana Islands, the proceeds of all taxes collected under the internal revenue laws of the United States on articles produced in the Northern Mariana Islands and transported to the United States, its territories or possessions, or consumed in the Northern Mariana Islands, the proceeds of any other taxes which may be levied by the Congress on the inhabitants of the Northern Mariana Islands, and all quarantine, passport, immigration and naturalization fees collected in the Northern Mariana Islands, except that nothing in this Section shall be construed to apply to any tax imposed by Chapters 2 or 21 of Title 26, United States Code.
(a) Funds provided under Section 702 not obligated or expended by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands during any fiscal year will remain available for obligation or expenditure by that Government in subsequent fiscal years for the purposes for which the funds were appropriated.
(b) Approval of this Covenant by the United States will constitute an authorization for the appropriation of a pro-rata share of the funds provided under Section 702 for the period between the effective date of this Section and the beginning of the next succeeding fiscal year.
(c) The amounts stated in Section 702 will be adjusted for each fiscal year by a percentage which will be the same as the percentage change in the United States Department of Commerce composite price index using the beginning of Fiscal Year 1975 as the base.
(d) Upon expiration of the seven year period of guaranteed annual direct grant assistance provided by Section 702, the annual level of payments in each category listed in Section 702 will continue until Congress appropriates a different amount or otherwise provides by law.