PALIKIR, POHNPEI. April 24, 2013 – The Fifth Special Session of the Seventeenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has delayed the “sunset clause” of April 19 2013, in the Revenue Administration Act (RAA) of 2012 for another three months.
President Manny Mori had called for the Fifth Special Session to specifically repeal the sunset clause of April 19th since two of the states have yet to enact corresponding tax laws as called for in Public Law 17-50 or the RAA of 2012. Members discussed at great lengths the fact that half the state chose not to meet the deadlines of the Tax Reform after years of collaboration amongst the five governments on tax reform efforts.
The consensus among members was not to repeal the sunset clause, but rather extend the deadline another three months to allow the tax reform task force a final round of visit to iron out any outstanding issues that the states may have regarding the Tax Reform. Congress enacted and transmitted Congressional Act (CA) 17-86 to “extend the deadline set for the implementation of the tax reform,” and accordingly, “if any of the four states of the [FSM] have not passed into law the valued added tax legislation as of midnight July 19, 2013, the act shall be null and void.”
With the passage of the bill, Chairman Dohsis Halbert of the Committee on Ways and Means urged the relevant entities in the both the states’ and national governments to increase their efforts in public education.
In addition to the Tax Act, Congress also passed and adopted during the Fifth Special Session Congressional Act 17-87 through CA 17-89, to amend and modify public projects and social programs previously funded in the various states.
Among the Resolutions adopted during the Fifth Special Session are:
Congressional Resolution 17-219, to express sincere gratitude and appreciation to Robert and Patricia Arthur for their decades of contribution to the business and civic community of the Federated States of Micronesia, and to express its well wishes for the future to them;
CR 17-221, to express the sadness and condolences of the Seventeenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia at the passing of the Honorable Koichi Sana, former member of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Sana served the Congress of the FSM for eight years as an At-large Member of the First Congress through the Fourth. In addition to the national government, his services to the State of Chuuk includes being a former Speaker of the Truk District Legislature and also that of being the first Micronesian promoted to the position of Truk Administrator for Truk Hospital during the Trust Territory. Sana’s later years were spend as a prominent businessman of Chuuk.
CR 17-222, is a congratulatory resolution from Congress to the Leadership of the State of Chuuk on its recent election and assumption of Office.
And finally, Congress overrode the Presidential veto of Congressional Act 17-76 and enacted into law the measure to further amend section 4 of Public Law No. 16-49, as amended by Public Laws Nos. 16-68, 16-76 and 17-06, to modify the use of certain funds previously appropriated to fund public projects and social programs in the State of Pohnpei, and for other purposes.
The Seventeenth Congress of the FSM adjourned its Fifth Special Session on April 12, 2013 and convene for its Sixth and final Special Session on Monday, April 29, 2013.
As usual, Congress sessions are open to the interested general public.