16 Sep 2004

American Samoa governor in plea to settle hotel debt

9:29 am on 16 September 2004

The governor of American Samoa has highlighted the Rainmaker Hotel's debt, in a bid to convince lawmakers to approve US$1.4 million to settle it.

A letter written by Governor Togiola Tulafono was just received as the legislature was closing for the year.

The Senate has already rejected the bill, and the governor's letter urged senators to look again at the legislation.

The governor says the Rainmaker Hotel owes US$1.1 millon to the American Samoa Power Authority, the telephone company, the United States Internal Revenue Service and the American Samoa Government.

He says he is worried that the Internal Revenue Service may foreclose on the hotel's assets for payment of back taxes of more than US$350,000.

Governor Togiola Tulafono says while the government could step in to stop local creditors, it doesn't have any authority over the revenue service.