Congregational Christian Church rejects tax proposal


The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S), the largest christian denomination in Samoa, has rejected a proposal by the government to tax church ministers.

At its annual conference last week a resolution was passed to present a letter to the government outlining the church’s objection.

The rejection of the government’s plan was widely supported by the Church’s membership.

“This is not a type of local government, I mean this is a church,” church member Tautolo Masele told the Sunday Samoan.

He said it would mean a double tax. “I mean we are not only paying taxes to the government through other ways and now we will all be taxed again through the faifeau.”

The Minister of Revenue, Ti’alavea Tionisio Hunt says the government is in the process of reviewing the law to make sure every one pays taxes.

He said the review includes the existing law which allows church Ministers not to pay tax on their incomes.

In March, when the proposal was first aired, the Chairman of the Samoa National Council of Churches, Deacon Kasiano Le’aupepe, cautioned the government over its plan.

He said taxing ministers of religion was sensitive matter because way churches were funded differed from church to church.

Leaupepe said for that reason the National Council of Churches did not have an official opinion on the proposal.

He said each church would have to make its own response.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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