22 Mar 2014

American Samoa lawmakers introduce bill to remove wage tax

9:29 am on 22 March 2014

Three American Samoa lawmakers have introduced a bill that, if passed, would repeal a two percent wage tax in the territory.

The tax was introduced in 2011 and has so far collected over US$7million to help the LBJ Medical Centre

The house members, Taotasi Archie Soliai, Vailoata Amituanai and Larry Sanitoa say that while they understand the need to secure long term funding to sustain the territory's medical centre, the wage tax is extremely problematic.

They says it's detrimental to low income families and adversely affects the overall economy because people have less disposable income.

They also say that with an ongoing debate about increasing the minimum wage, there has been no reasonable dialogue on whether an increase for the territory's lowest wage earners will have a catastrophic impact on the local economy.