30 Mar 2015

Hotel owners oppose proposed tax in American Samoa

9:56 am on 30 March 2015

Hotel and motel owners in American Samoa have called a proposed five percent hotel tax unfair.

They say the tax will keep tourists away and it will not raise much money, at the most around 200-US dollars a year.

Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Pago Pago, American Samoa. Photo: AFP

The government is proposing that proceeds from the new tax go towards improvements to Pago Pago International Airport.

There are about 250 hotel, motel and bed and breakfast operations in the territory.

The owner of Sadies By the Sea, Tom Drabble, told a Senate hearing on the tax the government shouldn't burden only one industry.

"Why pick on a little one segment of the community for a small amount of money. That's my argument. It's not fair. Why are we going through this exercise for 200 thousand dollars. For a small amount of tax, to me, it's a lot of work for very little return."