Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that President Obama on Thursday March 18, 2010 signed into law legislation that would help address unemployment across the nation and spur job creation. The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE) was passed by the House on March 4, 2010 by a vote of 217 – 201 and was later agreed upon by the Senate on March 15, 2010 by a vote of 61-30.
“Several provisions in the HIRE Act will benefit American Samoa and I thank the Administration and House and Senate leadership for accepting the requests submitted by the Congressional Delegates to ensure that the Territories are included in this important piece of legislation. The centerpiece of our request that was conveyed to President Obama, and both the House and Senate leadership in letters sent on December 10, 2009 and on February 12, 2010 was to bring to their attention the fact that the Territories operate under two separate tax code jurisdictions—mirror tax codes where federal tax rules and rates apply and non-mirror tax codes where federal tax rules and rates don’t always apply,” Faleomavaega said.
“As we explained in our request, special consideration should be granted to allow the Territories to benefit from the two tax credit for business owners provided for in the HIRE Act—Section 101 which would exempt employers from social security payroll taxes for every new worker hired in 2010 that was unemployed for at least 60 days; and Section 102, which would enable an employer to take a $1000 income tax credit, for every new worker hired and retained for at least 53 weeks,” Faleomavaega said.
“I am very pleased to announce that business owners in American Samoa are eligible for both tax credits in the new law. While it is not clear at this point how Section 101 is to be administered, Section 102 however would allow business owners in American Samoa to be eligible to receive a tax credit of $1000 for each worker retained. This tax credit would be available through the local tax system and the federal government would reimburse American Samoan Government (ASG) for the exact amount.”
“While this tax credit impacts 2011 refunds, it is important that a mechanism to acquire the tax credit is put in place by ASG as soon as possible. This will help local business owners make informed decisions on hiring and retaining employees and will lead to job creation which will help stimulate American Samoa’s local economy,” Faleomavaega concluded.