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URUGUAY
Taxes for landowners
Latinamerica Press
2/5/2015
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The restoration of a tax to agricultural producers announces President-elect Tabaré Vázquez.

Landowners, who cultivate more than 200 hectares of land, will pay taxes for financing the educations system. Now the agribusiness is protesting against the plans.

Simultaneously with Tabare Vazquez’ assumption of office on March 1, 2015, the Executive branch will present a new law to Parliament — with majority of the ruling party, the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) — which plans the taxation of big landowners. In 2002 the government of Jorge Luis Battle (2000-2005) stopped the so called “Impuesto de Primaria” (tax for primary education), which taxes all urban and suburban properties, coherent with the economic crisis in Argentina which affected the Uruguayan agricultural sector. The tax will serve to finance the feeding of approximately 250,000 children, transportation for people with disabilities and the maintenance of public schools. However, the topic became part of Vázquez election campaign again.

“There needs to be a fair distribution of prosperity and an adequate taxation, which leads to higher payments for the ones who own much and lower payments for the ones who own less” the President-elected declared in his campaign.

More efficient tax system
Carlos María Uriarte, president of the Rural Federation of Uruguay, formed by agricultural producers, considers the taxation would increase the discord of the Uruguayans. Besides, he adds, Battle just substituted in the past the one tax for another tax on sale for agricultural commodities.

But Vazquez takes up another position: “Every Uruguayan is supposed to pay a tax for the public school system, even the powerful landowners, who do not need to pay it at the moment.”

After taking office for a second term, Vázquez, who ruled between 2005 and 2010, will continue with his work to ensure a more efficient tax system that allows a more equitable distribution. In fact, in 2007 the system got a widespread change, which internationally received a broad approval.

The German economic journalist Alexander Busch, in an article for the magazine Wirtschaftswoche, published on Feb. 15, 2012, noted that “a modern tax authority was established, 28 marginal taxes were removed. An income and dividend tax was raised, which especially increased the duties for the 10% of the wealthiest, which almost did not have to pay any charges so far.”

Farmland in Uruguay is in great demand. According to a survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin 2001, concerning agricultural usable lands, the farmland in Uruguay stands for the best one worldwide.  Furthermore, the good political and economic conditions in Uruguay lead to a high amount of investors.
—Latinamerica Press.


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