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Update on fed budget bill: A proposal to strengthen local businesses

Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata
Source: Media release from Cong. Uifaatali Amata's office

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is providing an update on a development in Congress as part of the major budget reconciliation bill that would give new tax credit to businesses in American Samoa. If passed into law, the measure would allow deduction of 20 percent of wages and benefits up to $50,000, and 50 percent up to $141,000 for certain qualifying small businesses.

“American Samoa will benefit from any extra economic stimulus, including allowing businesses to keep more of their money active here in the local economy,” Congresswoman Amata said. “Businesses will use tax credits for local purchases, equipment, or supplies they need, or adding an employee, but it keeps this money at work in the local economy.”

The proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is under development, even as some moderate Democrats have joined Republicans in saying that total is too costly following two years of record federal spending. Senator Joe Manchin is key to that effort, but is open to a stimulus with a lower final cost.

“My focus is seeing that American Samoa is included if this bill goes forward, or if a reduced bill emerges, as I especially support the bill’s inclusion of $120-140 million in hospital funds for American Samoa over ten years,” she continued. “I appreciate the attention to fiscal responsibility underway in the Senate, and I am communicating American Samoa’s needs with these leaders to be part of any outcome.”

In the House of Representatives, committees are working on sections of the bill that fall under their jurisdictions. The Natural Resources Committee marked up American Samoa‘s hospital funds earlier this month. The proposed tax credit for the territories is from the House Ways and Means Committee, on which Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands serves.

“The territories have worked well together on shared priorities, and I appreciate Congresswoman Plaskett’s efforts on this tax credit for the territories,” Amata continued. “We’ll continue working in this bill and other upcoming legislation on current efforts especially hospital funding, Medicaid extension, and road funding.”