6 Apr 2005

American Samoa's governor against sea departure tax

6:20 am on 6 April 2005

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono does not support a Senate bill which would impose a departure tax for non residents travelling to Samoa by sea.

The governor says he will not sign the bill into law.

He said the proposed 20 US dollar tax is unauthorized under federal regulations and the senate should investigate the legality of the bill before approving it.

The proposed tax would apply not only to Samoans, but to any non resident travelling by boat to Samoa.

The bill only exempts those traveling for weddings, funerals and other family emergencies from paying the tax.

Governor Togiola said he suspected the proposed tax was a reaction to Samoa now requiring American Samoans to obtain permits to enter Samoa from May.

He said government leaders are trying to resolve the immigration issue amicably.