Former Member of Parliament from the Tautua Samoa party, Afualo Dr. Wood Salele says the taxation of Pastors is unnecessary and parliament should not go through with it.
He believes that the pastors are chosen servant of God, and that Pastors incomes are not considered salaries but instead are called gifts.
Afualo Dr. Wood Salele, a longstanding servant of the Methodist Church of Samoa had an academic presentation about the taxation of Faifeau or pastors whether it is necessary or not.
“The alofa or peleti that you give to the faifeau, is not a salary but rather a gift. Government however views it as income,” said Afualo.
Afualo says the taxation of pastors would not make any sense because the gifts given to pastors by each denomination fluctuate on a weekly basis, meaning they can’t determine exactly how much a pastor earns each bi-weekly to be able to deduce tax.
“Pastors are already paying tax from the products they buy. The value assets goods and services tax that we pay for every product we purchase is the pastor’s contribution,” he said.
Afualo also questioned the position of government over why they would not tax the aids and donors from outside countries given to organizations both private and sate owned.
“Even if we tax pastors, there’s not that much money to get from it,” he added.
Afualo made his comments during a special seminar he conducted the National University of Samoa.
*Marylin Atuai is a first year Media and Journalism Student studying at the National University of Samoa.