4 Feb 2011

American Samoa politicians considering new taxes to bridge income shortfall

4:12 pm on 4 February 2011

The chairman of the Senate's Budget Appropriations Committee in American Samoa says they hope to decide on an appropriate changes to the tax system next week.

Tax bills now under consideration would raise the wage tax from 4 percent to 8 percent, increase fees for businesses, or introduce a corporate tax.

Lemanu Mauga Peleti says the government is officially facing a $7-point-2 million dollar deficit for the fiscal year 2011 but he estimates the deficit could be as high as $9 million.

He says they'll decide what to do after a series of public hearings conclude, but admits it'll be a tough decision.

"We dont want the private sector to carry the heavy load on this taxation. At the same time, we dont want the public, or the people, to carry the burden of taxation. We want to work on some kind of bill, or a way, to get the income as fair as possible."

Senator Lemanu Mauga Peleti.