PALIKIR, POHNPEI. July 8, 2013 – The First Special Session of the Eighteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has been called by the President [pursuant to Article 9.FSMC Sec 16] to convene in Palikir on July 15, 2013, for a duration of 10-days.
According to President Emanuel ‘Manny’ Mori’s call, the Special Session is to foremost address the extended Tax Reform ‘sunset clause’ of July 19th which was extended from an earlier date of April 19th in order for the “remaining FSM States to deliberate and approve the required enabling legislations that would allow our nation to proceed with the Tax Reform.”
The tax reform is an initiative that began nation-wide in 2005 to address the tax system in the FSM and resulted in the creation of the 2011 Unified Revenue Authority (URA, per PL 16-75), which in turn established the 2012 Revenue Administration Act (RAA, per PL 17-50). The RAA sets the administrative rules to guide tax collection according to the URA mandate. A mandate that would be pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement between the five governments and the laws each government would enact by July 19, 2013, to endorse the Agreement.
While President Mori acknowledged the difficulties of obtaining consensus in view of the Nations’ loose federation, he however, highlighted the fact that “in the last three months, the states of Yap and Pohnpei have been actively pursuing resolutions and consensus on this issue [of tax reform]…”
The President is optimistic that the current efforts by the two states will have positive results, nevertheless, he requests the Congress to “seriously consider the repeal of the Sunset Clause to make it possible for the Tax Reform to proceed by the remaining three governments in the FSM”
President Mori noted that the Tax Reform Sunset Clause and the Federal Program Revolving Fund are the priorities of the Call, but have included other items as issues “critical to our Nation’s progress” and they are:
ODA Policy – submitted;
Pohnpei Port Development Project; and
Pending Grant Resolutions.
The First Special Session of the 18th Congress as called will convene in Palikir at 10am on Monday, July 15, 2013.
As usual, the sessions of the Congress are open to the interested general public.