Samoa Churches Ask For More Discussion About Taxing Clergy Salaries

Churches must have more time to discuss ramifications of changes

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 20, 2017) – Samoa's National Council of Churches is asking for the Ministry of Revenue to allow more time for individual churches to discuss changes to tax laws that would affect pastor earnings.

The government's plan is to start taxing church offerings received by members of the clergy.

Spokesperson the Reverend Ma'auga Motu said the main denominations, Congregational, Methodist, Mormon and Catholic, were tasked with discussing with their own parishioners and church members as to their response.

He said there is still a lot of division among the different churches as to the best way forward.

"Well it is an important issue, but for me the government must give time," Mr Motu said.

"They must give time to the church leaders to consult and discuss among the church goers and church leaders on what to do."

Mr Motu said that each of these church consultations would be very time consuming and consensus among mainline churches would take some time to get.

However the Ministry of Revenue said it was now busy finalising its report and findings to present to cabinet, following their own public and church consultations.

Radio New Zealand International
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