Fono Is Back in Session Today

The Fono is back in session today after a month long break.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget for the American Samoa Government, which usually takes up most of lawmakers attention in the second session of the year, was submitted to the Fono late last week.

The House and Senate also have five revenue bills from the administration pending in committees.

They include the 7% sales tax bill, increases to wharfage charges and fees, a bill requiring businesses who consistently report losses to pay a 1% tax, an update of the income tax table, and a bill to remove the 5% excise tax on commercial goods

The business community and some members of the public are wondering if the Fono is going to hold public hearings on the bills, or hear testimony only from government officials.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee which has several of the revenue bills, Lavea Legaee Mauga, says no hearings have been scheduled on the bills at this stage.

He says a schedule for review of the bills, including any hearings on the measures, will be drawn up when the Fono resumes.

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