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Hundreds of Samoans working in Pago send cash to relatives

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 27, 2011) – The cash strapped American Samoa government is considering imposing taxes on remittances sent out of the territory.

But the government’s tax office manager Melvin Joseph says implementing such a tax would be very difficult.

Mr Joseph has told a Senate committee reviewing revenue measures to address the government’s hefty budget shortfall that millions of dollars leaves the local economy for foreign destinations.

Mr Joseph says the tax office has been looking into this issue but hasn’t able to find way to implement such a tax.

Much of the money remitted from the territory is from the hundreds of Samoans working there, who send it home to support their extended families.

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