Thu, Jan 02, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Amendments needed to tax allocation law, TPP says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday called for changes to the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures (財政收支劃分法) and national land planning.

At a news conference titled “2020 Taiwan Reboot,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who is TPP chairman, said that the act, which was last amended in 1999, should be modified, because it promotes a culture of “bottle-feeding, thick skin and laziness.”

Ko said that when President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, he spoke with then-premier Lin Chuan (林全), who said that amending the act should be a priority.

Tsai’s first term is almost over, but the act has not been changed, Ko added.

“Having good connections is the most important thing in a bottle-feeding culture,” Ko said. “The thick skin comes into play when someone cannot achieve their goal and starts to complain that they do not want to follow the rules because they are unfair. A culture of laziness results in many scandals.”

Local governments must maintain a good relationship with the central government to receive a greater allocation of national tax revenue, which is the bottle-feeding culture, Ko said.

Local governments that have a bad relationship with the central government declare bankruptcy — the thick skin, he said.

As business, income and commodity taxes are collected by the central government, but propertyand land value taxes are handled by local governments, local governments often think of ways to launch build-operate-transfer or land-rezoning projects, instead of finding ways to attract investment or develop their cities, Ko said.

On Tuesday, he visited the former Kaohsiung City Council building and discovered that it has been empty for eight years, Ko said, adding that the ceramic tiles on the exterior are chipping off — an example of the culture of laziness, because the building could have been fixed and rented out to help repay the city’s debt.

Ko questioned whether the concept of the six special municipalities is appropriate and whether the rules applied to them are reasonable.

Asked if his remarks were part of a strategy to help Han, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, gain support before the elections on Saturday next week, Ko said: “Have I ever said that I support Han?”

Saying that he supports Han because he criticized Kaohsiung’s massive debt is putting ideology and party differences before solving problems, Ko added.

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