Tax Reform Meeting in Kosrae
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 26, 2009 - The Tax Reform Executive Steering Committee (ESC) met three weeks ago in Kosrae to follow up on progress that was made during the prior meeting in Yap to work on unifying the tax system in FSM. The ESC members in attendance were the Hon. Alik Alik, Vice President/ESC Chariman, Honl Sebastian Anefal, Governor of Yap State, Hon. John Ehsa, Governor of Pohnpei State, Hon. Robert Weilbacher, Governor of Kosrae State, and Mr. Joses Gallen, Attorney General of Chuuk State representing Governor Simina.
Chairman Alik proposed, and everyone agreed, that this meeting would focus on discussing how to proceed with the Unified Revenue Authority in light of concerns that some states had. The other agenda items include a review of the Tax Reform Implementation Plan and a presentation of the revenue estimates from the tax reforms.
Each Governor delivered an opening statement. The Governors' statements all expressed the urgency for moving forward with the tax reforms in light of growing budgetary difficulties faced by the State Governments.
Although they had some technical issues to work though, by the end of the meeting, all shared the views that an important breakthrough was made in that they have found a way for all five governments to proceed with URA from day one. This path needs to be agreed upon by the President and Congress for it to happen. With the 15th Congress still in session, a meeting was had with the Speaker of Congress to explain what is needed and the outcome should be known soon.
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