Agriculture secretary says Massa will lower sector’s taxes

A farmer association had accused the minister of planning to increase taxes for rural real estate

Agriculture Secretary Juan José Bahillo said on Saturday that the presidential candidate for Unión por la Patria (UxP) and Economy Minister Sergio Massa is planning to lower taxes to the agricultural sector.

“What I want to make clear is that Sergio Massa is thinking of lowering taxes to the agricultural sector and not raising them,” Bahillo said in an interview with Radio La Red. “I want to reassure the farmers, we are not thinking of raising taxes but of lowering them and we started to do it 90 days ago.”

Bahillo’s remarks come after the Rural Associations’ Confederation of Buenos Aires and La Pampa (CARBAP, by its Spanish acronym) released a communiqué saying that the government was planning to increase taxes in an addendum to the 2024 budget

“The Economy Ministry’s suggestion to eliminate tax exemptions for productive goods as rural real estate is the wrong path, as farmers have exhausted their fiscal capacity,” the press release said.

However, Bahillo said that the addendum — put forward by the Economy Ministry in a letter to Congress — refers to all the tax benefits, differential treatments, and subsidies across all economic sectors. “It is 4.72% of the GDP that is defined as tax expenditure, which refers to a tax that is modified in some part, or exempted and not collected,” he added.

This addendum, also included in last year’s budget bill, is essentially a series of suggestions that is not an official decision about which taxes should be modified or cut, according to Bahillo. “Everything is sent for evaluation by the legislators who will then decide how to reach the fiscal balance,” he added.

Bahillo denied that local rural properties will be taxed within the Personal Property Tax and that only those abroad are under evaluation.

The secretary also said that in the last months, taxes for the sector were reduced.

“We are working and have demonstrated it with facts over the last three months. We lowered tax rates to zero, we eliminated export duties to regional economies, peanuts, rice, wine, tobacco, citrus for US$ 190 million,” he said.

—with information from Télam


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