3 Feb 2007

Organising committee of Arts Festival worried by special tax bill

8:39 am on 3 February 2007

The organising committee of the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts which will be held in American Samoa are to ask sponsors of the 10 cents Bottled Water Tax Bill, to hold off on the bill while an alternative measure is being considered.

Proceeds from the tax are earmarked for the Festival of Pacific Arts that the territory is hosting next year.

The festival committee is concerned that the projected revenue from the tax would amount to approximately $100,000, while the amount being sought from the American Samoa Government for the Festival is at least $1.5 million.

This would be the government's contribution to a total budget of just over $5 million.

Lauti Simona, Executive Director of the Festival Organizing Committee said while the organizing committee appreciates the senators' initiative to find revenue sources to assist the festival, they want to make sure that this bill is in the best interests of the festival and everyone concerned.

The committee says it is also concerned about negative response from the community regarding the proposed legislation.