Tue, Feb 24, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Yunlin County’s tax proposal raises eyebrows in Taipei


Yunlin County has approved a carbon tax that it hopes will pressure the central government into reconsidering how it allocates funds to local governments.

Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) said yesterday that the county’s carbon tax measure was not aimed at punishing companies, but to compel the central government to reconsider its “unfair” allocation of funds.

Yunlin is home to the Formosa Plastics Group’s petrochemical industrial park. The complex generates slightly more than one-quarter of the nation’s carbon-dioxide emissions and has long been the target of environmentalists proposing a carbon tax.

The county government believes the central government is short-changing it because Taipei collects NT$47 billion (US$1.36 billion) in taxes from Formosa Plastics Group firms in the county but only gives Yunlin NT$500 million in return. Officials say they could collect NT$9 billion a year from the complex if a local carbon tax were imposed.

The Yunlin County Council recently passed a bill to levy a carbon tax, but the bill has been challenged by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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