19 Dec 2006

American Samoan congressman calls for tax system overhaul

10:38 am on 19 December 2006

American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni says the territorial government's current tax system "is shameful".

Faleomavaega says the system should be completely overhauled as part of American Samoa's long term tax policy now that Congress has extended the tax credit benefits for the two canneries in the Territory.

The tax credit extension is valid til the end of 2007 and Faleomavaega says American Samoa needs to move quickly to set in place any long term tax policies for the U.S. Congress to consider.

He says the local tax system needs to be overhauled before any proposal is given to Congress.

He says for example, the government appointed tax exemption board, who grants some tax incentives for businesses, needs to be eliminated because it has lived out its usefulness.

Faleomavaega says he will ask the Department of the Interior to provide some technical assistance to start work on a long-term tax policy for American Samoa.