Special Session adjourns after passage of Tax Authority Act
PALIKIR, POHNPEI. The Sixth Special Session of the Sixteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned right after passage of Congressional Act 16-78, a measure to establish for the nation a Unified Revenue Authority (URA).
Congressional Act 16-78, is one of five bills currently pending before congress for the tax reform initiative underway for the FSM for which the authority would be its foundation. The Authority, as proposed, would be the central unit for collections of both national and state taxes pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement to be entered into between the five governments and the laws enacted to endorse the agreement.
In addition to the measure on Unified Revenue Authority, Congress passed seven other Congressional Acts during the Sixth Special Session, and they include:
CA 16-71, a measure to modify the use of certain funds previously appropriated to fund public projects and social programs in the States of Kosrae and Pohnpei;
CA 16-72, a measure to delay to October 1 2011, any revenue deposits toward the Maritime Surveillance Revolving Fund;
CA 16-73, a measure to modify the use of certain funds previously appropriated to fund public projects and social programs in Pohnpei State;
CA 16-74, a measure to eliminate certain restrictions on a captive insurance company loans to or investments in its parent company or affiliates;
CA 16-75, a measure to modify the use of certain funds previously appropriated to fund public projects and social programs in the states of Chuuk and Pohnpei;
CA 16-76, a measure to appropriate 180,000 through the Micronesian Red Cross Society as FSM’s donation towards international relief efforts for the recent disasters in Japan, Australia and New Zealand; and
CA 16-77, a measure to change the use of 75,000 appropriated for Merit Scholarship to instead be directed instead to the National Scholarship Fund.
All the legislative measures have been transmitted to the Office of the President for action.
Along with eight Congressional Acts, Congress also adopted 10 resolutions during the special session. Of note is Congressional Resolution (CR) 16-171, requesting the President to ‘give notice’ of FSM’s withdrawal from the Third Implementing Arrangement to the Nauru Agreement unless the arrangement is ratified and implemented by all parties without delay.
The remaining congressional resolutions include:
CR 16-163, which expressed sincere sadness and condolences of the Congress to the people of Japan for the suffering and destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011;
CR 16-164, which expressed sadness and condolences of the Congress for the passing of former Congressman Sasao H. Gouland;
CR 16-166, which extended the Sixth Special Session for another four days;
CR 16-167, which set the budget ceiling at 45,376,574 estimated to be available for appropriation during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011;
CR 16-168, which endorsed a substantially amended budget for FY-11 operations of the Project Management Unit;
CR 16-169, which expressed condolences of the Congress to the people of Australia for the loss of life and destruction of property caused by the recent floods in the country;
CR 16-170, which expresses condolences of the Congress to the people of New Zealand for the loss of life and destruction of property caused by the recent earthquake in Christchurch;
CR 16-172, which approved a foreign fishing agreement between NORMA and Luen Thai Fishing Ventures, LTD for the purpose of licensing up to 120 Long Line fishing vessels to be based throughout the four states for 10 years; and finally
CR 16-174, a resolution which extended the Sixth Special Session of the 16th CFSM for one more day which altogether was an 11-day special session.
The Sixth Special Session of the 16th Congress of the FSM convened on Monday March 21 and adjourned sine-die on March 31, 2011.
The next Regular Session of Congress will be on May 11 2011, to seat members of the new Seventeenth Congress of the FSM and also reorganize the leadership of both the Legislative and Executive Branches of the National Government.