NO PLANS TO TAX FARM INCOMES, SAYS SAMOA'S FINANCE MINISTER MISA

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APIA, Samoa (June 21, 2002 – Radio New Zealand International/PINA Nius Online)---Samoa’s finance minister, Misa Telefoni Retzlaff, has told Parliament that the government will not impose income taxes on the country’s farmers.

Speaking during debate on the budget, Misa said the government had decided not to follow advice by consultants that the time had come for such a move.

It would be too difficult for them to get accountants to audit their books and other documentation that Inland Revenue requires, he said.

He also said that clergy would not be taxed despite some of them earning thousands of dollars a year.

Clergy contributed much spiritually and to the development of the country, he said.

The advice to tax farmers followed reports that one farmer had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank when he died. Another -- a cocoa planter -- was said to have bought two houses for his children in New Zealand and freehold land on Upolu Island.

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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