Day 3 of long lines for stimulus checks

With many complaints about the hours of waiting at the banks to cash stimulus checks, KHJ News asked for a reaction from the Governor’s Office.

The response comes from the governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira.

“In spite of having Public Safety Officers to police the distribution plans and regardless of having well thought out plans, our people refuse to comply,” he stated.

“The Treasury has used the Post Office to distribute Tax Stimulus and Tax Return Checks to avoid having long lines. But by doing that the Post Office is overwhelmed with long lines. Many of our people don’t have Post Office mailboxes as they are packing the EOB to await the distribution of checks.”

Iulogologo noted that the banks have extended their operating hours to accommodate the cashing of checks.

He continued that the checks are good for 90 days “so there is no need to stand in line for long periods of time. You can wait until the line shortens before retrieving your tax return or stimulus check,” said Iulogologo.

He added that Public Safety Officers are trying to be respectful and are sensitive to the people’s rights.

KHJ News asked if Governor Lolo Moliga would advice Treasury on ways to improve the distribution for the next round of stimulus checks.

Iulogologo said Treasury is now looking at other ways to ease the long lines awaiting the receipt of tax refunds and stimulus checks.

“The Police Officers are present at all locations trying to maintain order and smooth distribution of checks. As you know, it is very difficult to maintain order when our people demand the receipt of their checks. We are looking at alternatives to better distribute checks to our people.”

This morning the Territorial Bank of American Samoa had tents and chairs at their Utulei and Tafuna branches, giving people respite from the hot sun.

ANZ Bank also did the same. Cost U Less distributed free water at the tents.

Some suggestions from members of the public on ways to improve the distribution is to have a special time for the elderly to cash their checks, distribute checks alphabetically similar to the food stamp and TAOA distribution, and for the banks to add more tellers.