Finance chief: We’re going after illegal B&Bs

DEPARTMENT of Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson said they have been tracking down illegal bed-an- breakfast establishments on island, and have already identified a significant number of them.

“It’s not something that we’ve been ignoring. We’ve been conducting a review of these illegal B&Bs for the past two years and several of them are now complying with the laws and regulations.”

She added, “Unfortunately there are still lawbreakers. They set up their operations all over the island so quickly it is a challenge to catch them, but it’s something that we’re working on and we’re doing our best to catch up.”

With an increase in the number of tourists in the CNMI, she said, there is also an increase in the number of B&Bs to accommodate those who cannot find hotel rooms.

Larson said her department is asking members of the public to help identify illegal B&Bs.

“The public can be our eyes and ears and let us know about anyone doing these things. We will be happy to look into such cases and investigate. All they have to do is call the Department of Finance at 664-1100,” she said.

They have already cited a significant number of illegal businesses, Larson said.

“Many were brought into compliance and we will continue our efforts.” She said they plan to bring the matter to Airbnb’s corporate headquarters and then “we will go out and do reviews and inspect the sites.”

Larson said violators will be penalized based on the nature of the violations.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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