7 Apr 2017

Samoa public divided over plans to tax church donations

9:17 am on 7 April 2017

Public opinion is divided in Samoa about the government's plan to tax church offerings received by members of the clergy.

The Ministry for Revenue is consulting with churches and communities about the move that aims to tax direct personal donations from church members to the clergy.

The government believes everyone should pay taxes.

But our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said the view on the street was mixed.

"There is a division of opinion on social media and the local media here as well. Some people are saying it is not for the government to tax the church ministers as they are the servants of God."

"But some people say that they must pay taxes as they are driving their vehicles on public roads and they are using public toilets."

The National Council of Churches said another meeting between churches and the Ministry was planned for next Thursday.

Prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi reportedly commented that even Jesus Christ paid taxes.

Samoa currency

Samoa currency Photo: Supplied