In its pilot phase, “Kalkulator” covers calculation of the cost of two local charges of 20 municipalities: firm name compensation and compensation for use of construction land. Its full version will cover 16 different local charges in all Serbia’s municipalities.
Participating in the inaugural presentation of the project, AmCham representative Ms. Amalija Pavić emphasized the fact that in addition to the increase in local charges in the last year and a half, businesses experienced introduction of other para-fiscal charges through introduction of various compensations in non-fiscal regulations. Some of these have the pure character of a tax (e.g. compensation for protection, use and improvement of forests, which is charged to each legal entity in the amount of 0.025% of revenue, regardless of the registered activity or actual use of forests). Such a practice, besides increasing the fiscal burden, also makes the cost of state administration for business less predictable and transparent. Although such practices result in negligibly higher fiscal revenues for the state overall, they carry disproportionately higher reputational risk which can discourage potential investors. Although Ms. Pavić urged a more systematic approach to addressing this issue through abolition of such “earmarked taxes” and equalizing treatment of all budgetary revenues, she sees the value of the “Kalkulator” in providing a transparency precondition for supervision of local finances and competition between local self governments in their efforts to attract new investors.
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