Church would rather donate voluntarily than paying taxes

By Lagi Keresoma

MALUA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018: The Congregational Christian Church would rather make voluntary donations to the government than paying taxes.

This was the resolution of the Church’s General Conference before it broke for lunch today. The resolution further supports its decision on Monday this week to reject paying government taxes as required by the law that became effective at the beginning of this year.

The church claims there was very little consultation between the government and the church on taxing church ministers and refuted the claim by the Minister of Revenue that taxing the clergy was well supported by the church.

Although there were views at today’s general conference in support of the law for church ministers to pay as required, the overall decision was to retain the opposition to the taxes.

The church executive however would meet with the government next week to provide the option of making voluntary contributions like the church women’s group that makes annual donations to the health sector.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the church ministers taxes should not have been an issue at the church’s annual general conference.

The annual church conference is coming to a close this afternoon at its headquarters at Malua.