TAX PROPOSED FOR EXPORTING FINE MATS FROM AMERICAN SAMOA

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (March 26, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---The exportation of fine mats (toga) will be subject to an excise tax, if a proposal now before the Fono is passed into law.

Sponsored by Senators Matautia P. Tuiafono and Saoimanulua S. Solosolo, the proposed law says that "an excise tax of $10 is levied on each fine mat exported from American Samoa to any part of the world," including neighboring Samoa.

Under the proposal, the tax would be payable at the point of departure (harbor or airport), and the local Department of Treasury would be charged with collecting this tax.

Those who failed to pay would be subject to fines of $100 for their first offense, $200 for the second offense and $400 for three or more offenses.

With the Fono adjourning this Friday for three months, the bill is not expected to be reviewed until lawmakers returned in mid-July.

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