Thursday, June 9, 2011

Uruguay .- Mújica defends raising taxes on large estates, despite the opposition from Vice President

MONTEVIDEO, 9 June (Reuters) - President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, Thursday defended his plan to raise taxes on large rural properties, an idea resisted by his deputy that generated tensions in the ruling coalition left. Mujica, a former guerrilla who was tortured and suffered a severe detention during the dictatorship that ruled Uruguay between 1973 and 1985, said that raising taxes on large tracts of land will not change current business conditions in the country.

"The fact is multiply wealth, no tax. Must prod a little bit and has produced a lot," he said in his radio show "Speak the President." The strong expansion of the Uruguayan agricultural sector in recent years by high raw material prices stimulated a significant investment of foreign capital, mostly from Argentina and Brazil.

Mujica said that "people come out with a lot of money and make deals in the fields, we have to be an open country, but for a bit, I come to buy all the land and in the end we were all pawns." Mujica The proposed property tax increase surprised some of his executive and vice president, Danilo Astori, decisive in the economic management of the country, said it would seek to change it.

"Whichever path we take, what can be suggesting that there may be further changes in the future and that it could generate a sense of uncertainty and uncertainty is not good company for investment decisions," said Astori, told local radio. According to local media, the proposed Mujica, who was not officially disclosed, would seek to raise $ 16 (about seven euros) per hectare per year property tax to the fields with more than 10,000 acres, twelve dollars (about 8.2 euros) the more than 5,000, and eight dollars (about 5.5 euros) the more than 2,000, from four current dollars.

According to the president, some 1,200 companies would be affected by the new tax, which would increase revenue by about 60 million dollars. Mujica said that holders of these extensions speculate on rises in land prices, adding that additional taxes will not hurt the profits of small and medium rural producers.

However, Astori said the president's idea will not help curb the concentration of land. "The instrument we propose alternative is to get these resources according to the financial capacity of farmers and not to launch negative signal for growth of the sector itself," said Astori, adding that talks with Mujica to seek agreement and bring a proposal consensus in Parliament.

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