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ASG Budget and Treasury both forecast shortfall for FY2014

But… continue to differ on amounts
fili@samoanews.com

The ASG Office of Budget and Planning revenue collection report for the first nine-months of fiscal year 2014 is forecasting a revenue shortfall of over $12 million, which is a much different number than the ASG Treasury Department report — of over $8 million, which came up for the same period, covering Oct. 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
 
The difference in the two reports, which were received by the Fono last week, is expected to raise concern from lawmakers, who have already read both reports.
 
With fiscal year 2015 budget hearings set to begin next week, Samoa News understands that several lawmakers are reviewing both the Treasury and Budget Office reports as these are the only available documents to make comparisons to the new fiscal year.
 
As in past budget hearings, a lot of questions will come from lawmakers as to how the government came up with a local revenue projection of $106.24 million.
 
This is not the first time that revenue reports by the Treasury and Budget Office have been different — it also happened when the reports for the first-six months of FY 2014 were released two months ago.
 
According to an analysis conducted by the Legislative Financial Office — for the first-six months of FY 2014, the Budget Office projected annual revenues at $108.17 million, with actual collections by the end of the second quarter at $43.36 million. However, Treasury has projected annual revenues at $105.13 million with actual revenue collections at $42.14 million.
 
BUDGET OFFICE REPORT
 
While total revenue for FY 2014 is forecast at $108.37 million, the Budget Office report says the government’s “actual collections” as of June 30, stand at just over $71.71 million — and based on this trend, ASG is forecasted to receive $95.52 million at the end of the fiscal year resulting in a $12.84 million shortfall.
 
ASG’s biggest local revenue source, which are taxes, have a projected revenue of $71.24 million, while the Budget Office report says “actual collections” at the end of the first-nine months, stands at $45.35 million, and forecast that ASG will collect only a total of $60.47 million at the end of the fiscal year, resulting in a $10.76 million short fall in local revenues.
 
TREASURY REPORT
 
While total revenue projected for FY 2014 is $108.17 million, the Treasury’s preliminary and unaudited report for the first-nine months of FY 2014, shows that based on current collection trends for the first-nine months, only $99.96 million will be collected by the end of FY 2014, resulting in an $8.20 million shortfall.
 
Between Oct. 1, 2013 and Jun. 30, 2014 — the first nine months of FY 2014 — the government has collected $74.19 million in revenue, according to the Treasury report.
 
For tax revenue, in which $71.24 million is forecasted to be collected in FY 2014, the Treasury report shows that ASG is now projected to collect only $65.09 million by the end of FY 2014, causing a shortfall of $6.14 million for taxes.
 
For the first nine months of FY 2014, Treasury said $49.07 in taxes were collected.
 
Some lawmakers are hoping that by next week, the Fono will have received from the administration the 3rd quarter performance report from each ASG entity, because that report provides specific expenditures for the entire government.
 
(The full story on the Treasury Report can be seen in Samoa News Monday, August 11 issue)



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