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Amata releases statement on tax reform bill

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Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Washington, D.C. — Friday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata released a statement on the outcome of House and Senate negotiations that produced a final major tax reform bill that reduces taxes and promotes economic growth. The bill leaves tax extenders, such as the American Samoa Economic Development Credit and rum tax credits for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and other similar requests, to be taken up in subsequent legislation, but the offsetting tax rate reduction has a similar effect of encouraging investment and promoting jobs.

The effort to extend the American Samoa Economic Development Credit, as requested by Congresswoman Amata, was initially included in the House of Representatives’ tax legislation: H.R. 1, The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Although that bill passed the House of Representatives in November, the Senate then also passed a bill, and the House and Senate has been conferring through this outcome arriving at a final bill.

“The overall reduction in the tax burden helps the financial bottom line for companies like Star-Kist, and a competitive tax rate is an important indicator that we can expect the tuna industry to continue as an employer and valued community partner in American Samoa for years to come,” said Aumua Amata. “We’re also encouraged with the prospects of further consideration in 2018 of the American Samoa Economic Development Credit specifically, along with a series of similar tax extender requests from other territories and around the country. We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga on this ongoing effort to strengthen our economy.

“Thank you to so many of Members of the House who supported our effort,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “At every opportunity in Washington, D.C., we will continue to educate and inform people on the unique circumstances of American Samoa’s geographic and economic isolation, and make the case that our federal tax and economic policies should reflect those realities. We’ll continue working to encourage investment and preserve jobs in American Samoa.”