Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the House passed by a vote of 216 to 193 H.R. 3996, the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007, which includes a one-year extension of 30A tax credits for American Samoa’s canneries.
“Given that American Samoa’s private-sector economy is more than 80% dependent either directly or indirectly on the US tuna processing and fishing industries, I thank Chairman Charles Rangel of the House Ways and Means Committee for protecting the jobs of our cannery workers,” Faleomavaega said.
“While I asked for a ten-year extension of our tax credits, all tax extenders included in this bill received the same extension of one-year only. However Chairman Rangel has promised to continuing to work with me on a more permanent solution for American Samoa once our local canneries agree on what incentives work best for them.”
“It is unfortunate that StarKist and Chicken of the Sea could not reach agreement in a timely manner regarding whether or not 30A is the best option for them to remain and invest in American Samoa. Earlier this year, both canneries agreed that 30A was the way forward. By mid-year, our canneries were at odds.”
“Our canneries have also been unable to provide Chairman Rangel with a clear indication of whether or not they will stay in American Samoa if they are provided with tax credits. During last Congress, our canneries also failed to provide Chairman Thomas of the Ways and Means Committee with assurances of their commitment to American Samoa.”
“Regardless, I still support 30A tax credits for American Samoa, and especially for our tuna fishing and processing industries. I also support opening up 30A for new investors, too, and I will continue to work with Chairman Rangel to make this, or a similar initiative, happen.”
“In the interim, I appreciate Chairman Rangel’s support in extending tax credits for American Samoa for an additional year while our canneries go back to the drawing board in an effort to reach agreement. As this bill now moves to the Senate for consideration, I will continue to keep our people updated as there is much work left to do before this measure is signed into law particularly considering that our 30A tax credit is a just a small part of an $80 billion tax package which is expected to be hotly debated in the Senate,” Faleomavaega concluded.