20 Jan 2011

American Samoa governor seeks alcohol and tobacco tax hike

4:26 pm on 20 January 2011

The American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono has submitted to the Fono a bill to increase the tax on beer, alcohol and tobacco.

The higher duties would go towards offsetting a 7.2 million US dollar shortfall in local revenues for the current fiscal year.

For beer the tax would go up from 190 percent to 200 percent, while for alcohol the tax would be raised from 15.5 cents per one percent of alcohol to 22.5 cents.

The duty for cigarettes would be raised from 12 cents per cigarette to 17 cents per cigarette.

Governor Togiola says the dangers of smoking are undeniable, and the effects of alcohol abuse by minors are apparent in the number of criminal violations.

He says making individuals pay more for beer, alcohol and tobacco may curb their overall use, resulting in savings to the government.

The Governor says if consumption does not drop the government will collect additional revenue.