The infamous export tax. The export tax boosts tax collections by $4 billion, and thereby captures 10.4% of export proceeds. The tax on exports, common in Argentina prior to its elimination during the Menem administration, was reimposed in 2002. The tax is commonly criticized as a major disincentive to exports in general and, therefore, to investment in tradable goods. This is based on the misconception that the emblematic and high 20% rate applied to basic agricultural goods exports is representative of the burden on all exports. In practice, however, the export tax burden is much less for some exporting sectors than others, since the actual tax rate varies significantly (from as low as 5% for manufactures to as high as 45% for crude oil). So far, only crude oil exports have been visibly dragged down by the tax, with their shipment volumes down 14% over the last 12 months. The export tax generates 10.7% of federal government tax collections. Despite ongoing protests from the affected parties, plans to phase out the tax have been dropped from the government’s agenda. In addition to the partial loss of revenue that the elimination of the tax would entail (although part would be retained through higher income tax collections), other considerations make a change unlikely:
First, the tax generates a wedge between domestic and international prices; thus, its elimination would risk adding (one-off) inflation pressure just when inflation acceleration is already causing the administration headaches. Second, by reducing the profitability of commodity exports relative to manufactures exports (given the differential tax rates), the tax generates resource allocation favoring industrialization.
lunes, noviembre 21, 2005
Wall Street a favor de la ISI
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