10 Sep 2013

American Samoa official says fuel tax can't support roadworks

9:59 am on 10 September 2013

The Public Works Director in American Samoa, Faleosina Voigt, says at least US$3 million is needed to properly maintain roads on Tutuila and Manu'a.

The Road Maintenance Fund, which is the only source dedicated to the upkeep of roads, is funded with a 10 cent per gallon fuel excise tax.

But Ms Voigt said the levy has returned the same funds for about 20 years, while materials and other maintenance-related costs have gone up.

For the 2014 fiscal year, US$590,500 is expected to be raised from the fuel excise tax.

Ms Voight says if the government is serious about road maintenance then at least US$2 million dollars is needed to upkeep roads in Tutuila and another 1 million dollars for roads in Manu'a.

She says Public Works needs to buy equipment in order to perform road maintenance.