16 Oct 2002

American Samoa fono to discuss funding child tax credit

3:16 pm on 16 October 2002

The American Samoan governor, Tauese Sunia, is considering calling a special session of the legislature over the basic federal child tax credit.

Since the year 2000, the administration has refused to pay the tax credit to taxpayers because Tauese says it's an unfunded federal mandate.

But, earlier this month, the high court ruled that the territorial government is liable under law to pay it out, even if there's no source of revenue.

In 1999, it paid out between 1.5 to 2 million U.S. dollars and taking increases into account since then, the government could be liable to pay taxpayers a total of four million dollars annually.

The governor's legal counsel says the government won't appeal the court's decision.

A special session of the Fono is expected to be called after the November 5th general elections to discuss how to fund the tax credit.