Church gets backing on tax position
The biggest denomination in Samoa, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) has reportedly rejected the Government’s new law to tax the Head of State and Church Ministers. Although the church has yet to confirm its official position, reports from the Malua annual conference indicate that the church will continue to reject the law. Despite this, the Government has put out a notice that after 30 June 2018, they will start enforcing the law on people who continue to disobey. What do you think? Reporter, Adel Fruean asked members of the public today and this is what they said:
Niko Temo Saleufi
Yes, I agree with the decision made by the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa to go against the taxation of pastors. The political leaders should stay out of the work of God in Samoa. They should have never done this in the first place.
Atu Ioane Letogo
I support the church’s position on this matter. It has never been done before, why now? Also, pastors have an important role in the congregation. I am well aware that church ministers have their own plans for the use of these donations for church purposes so that is why I am strongly against this new tax law. I think the government should reconsider.
Alefosio Feagaiga Vailoa
Yes, I agree with the decision by the church Ministers to continue to ignore the government on this. I know the church would have given this a lot of thought. Also, if the church administration has decided on this judgement after a thorough analysis on this subject then I support it whole-heartedly. It is because I have full confidence in their capabilities and understanding in these matters. The church should not be taxed, especially when the money is given by people who have already been taxed. That is double taxing the people.
Seufale Filipo Tauialo Vaitele Fou
I support their decision on church tax. I am strongly against taxing pastors because the work they do is for God by spreading the Gospel at the same time so he heads it. The work that the Government does is for the development of our country but the work that pastors do is for saving souls. They shouldn’t be taxed. Do we tax God? I don’t think so.
Alo Maleko Vailoa
I accept the judgement made by the church. In my opinion it is not right for pastors to pay taxes, it should be enough for churchgoers to pay taxes on their behalf. I believe in that greatly. Also our forefathers would not have liked what is happening in Samoa. It’s so so sad.