18 Aug 2004

American Samoan lawmaker queries bingo operation

1:33 pm on 18 August 2004

A member of American Samoa's House of Representatives says the territory's Tax Office should begin collecting taxes from a private bingo organisation that's been around for years instead of going after legitimate charitable organisations.

Representative Vaiausia Yandall said on the floor of the House yesterday that the Tax Office was trying to collect tax from church bingoes, raffles and football pools while ignoring a private bingo operation which has been going on for years on government land.

Though Vaiausia didn't give any names, our correspondent says it was clear that he was referring to the bingo at the VA club house operated by Sese McMoore, who is the wife of the speaker, Matagi McMoore.

Vaiausia urged that the manager of the Tax Office, Melvin Joseph, be called in for questioning about why the government was going after legitimate charitable organizations and ignoring other operators.