12 Jan 2010

American Samoa administration seeks revenue to cover deficit

3:00 pm on 12 January 2010

American Samoa's governor Togiola Tulafono says this year his administration is focusing on generating more revenue to cover the 8.8 million US dollar deficit for the 2009 fiscal year.

The governor made the comment in his annual State of the Territory Address at a joint Fono session.

He has told lawmakers other financial shortfalls involved collecting corporate taxes permit and license fees while his administration alone overspent by 3.8 million dollars.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says last year the territory had a massive earthquake and tsunami, the closure of COS Samoa Packing and was affected by a sluggish US economy.

"One of the important issues and top priority for him is to inform the people of American Samoa of the financial condition of the government. Now he's saying that his top leaders top members of his finance agencies will be meeting in coming weeks to discuss revenue generations and other measures to cover the rest of this year."

Fili Sagapolutele says however the governor's administration still plans to ask the Fono for a decision over a bill to spend millions on purchasing assets of the now closed COS cannery.