Govt. revenue from customary land lease increases
The Government benefited from a five per cent increase in its revenue on commissions on customary land leases in 2018-2019; the increase amounts to a rise from $77,000 to $81,000.
The $4,200 increase in revenue during the 2018-19 Financial Year was noted in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's (M.N.R.E.) annual report for the same period, under the Customary Land Lease section.
According to the report, the increase in revenue from customary land lease increases reflects a corresponding rise in the number of leased customary lands now committed for development.
The report does not state how much land is involved in these developments.
However, under new leases listed, the report states that there were a total of 23 new leases for 2018-2019, mainly from telecommunication companies, churches, and individual businesses.
For the same financial year, the Government recorded a loss in revenue of $1 million for its Government land leases compared to the previous year.
“This is largely due to the transfer of land ownership and mandate of management of Salelologa township lands to S.L.C. [Samoa Land Corporation],” the report notes.
“[In addition] as well as revenue from Aleisa leased lands is currently undergoing stability payment of normal annual leased rates in this financial year compared to the last financial year which undertook strong enforcement of payment from Aleisa lessees of the many years of outstanding arrears to the Ministry.”
The most revenue is brought in under the “miscellaneous” category, the report states.
“This is due to the mere fact that miscellaneous grouping comprises of different government lands under leased arrangement conditions to other government ministries and corporations…” the annual report states.
Those Government agencies include the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, the Samoa International Finance Agency, and the private sector such as R.S.A., Digicel and Bluesky.
Other Government lands located in different “rural and urban villages such as the Taumeasina Hotel in Mota’a village” are also listed under the miscellaneous category for Government land leases.
The annual report also notes revenue collected from burial plots amounted to $17,100, while lease payments for those in different villages totalled $1.1 million.