Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the Senate Finance Committee has favorably reported H.R. 982, a bill he introduced to provide the American Samoa Government with the authority to issue bonds exempt from state and federal taxation.
“The Senate Finance Committee favorably reported the bill on July 20, 2004 and placed it on the Senate Calendar for consideration and vote. This is good news for American Samoa because most bills have to go through two other steps (including a hearing and markup) before being placed on the Senate Calendar,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Simply put, H.R. 982 has the full support of Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee and I thank them once again for supporting my efforts to make American Samoa stronger. H.R. 982 would amend the U.S. Code to allow interest earned from American Samoa bonds to be exempt from both state and local taxation.”
“H.R. 982 will make American Samoa bonds more attractive to investors and could save the American Samoa Government between $20,000 and $50,000 a year in interest costs on municipal bonds it may issue,” the Congressman said. “The American Samoa Power Authority has indicated that it would like to sell bonds to purchase new diesel generator sets to accommodate our growing population. This legislation would lower the interest costs of the prospective sales and will also enable the government to address deficiencies in its current infrastructure.”
“This legislation is identical to H.R. 1448 which I introduced in the 107th Congress. H.R. 1448 was adopted by the Judiciary and Resources Committees and was finally agreed to by voice vote on the House Floor on September 24, 2002. Unfortunately, the Senate was unable to consider this legislation before the 107th Congress came to a close.”
“However, the Judiciary and Resources Committees once again supported American Samoa’s interests by unanimously passing H.R. 982 in the 108th Congress and I am thankful that my friends, both Republican and Democrat, also voted in favor of H.R. 982 when this matter was brought to the House Floor for consideration. This legislation is beneficial and critical to the needs of American Samoa and in due time will help us build and strengthen our local economy.”
“At this time, I thank my friends in the Senate for their support and I look forward to working with them to make sure that this legislation is passed before the 108th Congress comes to a close,” the Congressman concluded.