2-Percent Poorer Today Than Yesterday

Today, thanks to the American Samoa Government's 2% wage tax implementation last year, I am 2% poorer in my paycheck than I would've been. Unlike the rest of the United States' employed workers, American Samoa employees never benefited from the 2% decrease in Federal Social Security taxes that was part of last year's stimulus package. The American Samoa Legislature passed and the then governor, Togiola Tulafono, signed into law a 2% wage tax increase to pick up the money that the Federal Government had graciously been going to let us keep. This kept our total withholdings at the same level, so no real loss except that Social Security, a fund that has already been asked to sacrifice beyond sustainability, was more underfunded than usual as a result.

Fast forward to today - the first American Samoa Government payroll date of the new year and we are now paying 2% more in taxes than we did last year, meanwhile U.S. employees are seeing their taxes return to normal rates, we are seeing our taxes go up. Sneaky tax man.

On the bright side, I still have a job and opportunities to try and earn more money to cover the new tax rate. Maybe if they let me claim the extra 2% in wage taxes as a decrease in my tax liability for next year, I'll be happy enough to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's, but from here on out I'm going to be penny pinching and paying the minimum in fees and licensing that I can get away with legally. No, wait... Doing that already. I guess I'll walk more in 2013 instead of driving to the store. If I can save $5 a week n gasoline, I'll make back some of the money I'm currently paying in new taxes.

What are you going to do to try and cut back and adjust?