The Catalan government has been rowing against the current of other autonomous communities for a long time, and for the moment it gives no indication that this policy is going to change. While other territories advocate tax rebates To favor the economy of households and companies, with Madrid as a paradigmatic example, the Government of Catalonia creates new tax figures and raises the existing ones.
In the last five years, the Catalan Executive has created or raised up to 13 own taxes and transferred totally or partiallywith three different councilors and from different parties.
With the president of the ERC, Oriol Junqueras, at the head of the Department of Economy -in addition to being vice-president of the Government-, 2017 It was a year of multiple fiscal modifications, with innovations such as the regional tax on sugary drinks and the tax on radiotoxic elements, which came to relieve the tax on electricity of nuclear origin, which had been declared unconstitutional by the courts and which followed the same outcome.
That year there were also increases in the tourist tax, taxes on large commercial establishments and empty homes, taxes on gambling, property transfer tax and documented legal acts, and deductions were eliminated in the personal income tax.
all of it expected an increase in revenue of up to 180 million per year when all the modifications were in full application, but that did not happen, since the novelty that represented a greater collection, the tax on radiotoxic elements, with almost 63 million estimated annually, was annulled by the Justice.
But after the years of political instability after the independence referendum of October 2017, which prevented the Generalitat Budgets from being carried out, 2020 regional accounts brought new hikesin this case by the hand of the also republican Pere Aragonès and with the intention to increase the annual collection by an additional 552.6 millionalthough the arrival of the pandemic also put an end to these plans.
said year, the Generalitat launched the two own taxes that currently report more income (see graph): the one for installations that affect the environment (thought for electrical and telecommunications infrastructures) and the one that taxes vehicle emissions.
But the Inheritance tax also rose; income tax for income from 90,000 to 175,000 euros; the tourist tax; the tax on sugary drinks; betting fees; documented legal acts, and expanded the tax on empty homes.
Y 2022with Jaume Giró (Junts), has brought new rises in the middle sections of personal income tax -to compensate for a reduction in the lowest section- and private taxpayers for the tax on empty flats.
Meager collection that adds pressure to companies and investors
Catalonia is the region with the most taxes of its own, with 15, including the water fee -which is around 500 million annually- and the waste fee (recentralized this year), but its income accounts for just over 2% of the total collection.
The Generalitat cites environmental and public health and non-collection reasons when introducing new taxes, and affirms that it will follow this line, while the productive and investment sector regrets the accumulation of charges that reduce competitiveness and attractiveness compared to other territories.
The Catalan Executive is currently preparing three new taxes that are part of the budget agreements for this 2022 with En Comú Podem. These are two taxes that were foreseen in the Catalan Climate Change Law of 2017 but have not yet been developed: one on port emissions of big ships and another about the most polluting industry. Likewise, the purple formation started the commitment to create a new tax for ultra-processed foods.
With the negotiations to carry out the Autonomous Accounts for 2023 already underway, the contacts between the Minister of Economy, Jaume Giró, and En Comú Podem point to the inclusion of the tax on large ships in the law accompanying the Budgets of the Generalitat next year, as they have indicated to elEconomista.es knowledgeable sources of encounters.
For its part, the new tax for CO2 emissions from industry could follow the same steps or be processed as an independent bill, to give more time and see the macroeconomic evolution. In addition, the report that should lay the foundations for the tax on ultra-processed foods is being prepared, and should be available before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the details of any of these three new figures have not yet been finalized, and the purples are pressing to increase public spending -and the necessary income for it-. That is why they ensure that “This is not the time for tax cuts” in Cataloniasince difficult times are in sight in which social spending will rise.