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Austrian Institute Shows Wealth Taxes 'Red Card'

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

17 December 2012

President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) Christoph Leitl has welcomed the tax course set by Austrian Vice Chancellor and People’s Party (ÖVP) leader Michael Spindelegger, who recently confirmed that he is against the re-introduction of property taxes in Austria.

Insisting that Spindelegger had found “clear words” on the issue, Leitl emphasized that property, inheritance and gift taxes would hit the country’s middle class and businesses, endangering vital investments. Alluding to the fact that in international comparison Austria “still has a very good employment situation,” Leitl argued that burdening corporations with new taxes would merely serve to endanger both growth and jobs.

Echoing the Vice Chancellor’s remarks, Leitl said that property, gift and inheritance taxes should all be “shown the red card.”

The WKÖ president stressed that it is currently more important to create savings potential through structural reforms and to create targeted incentives to support domestic companies. What are needed are targeted growth-enhancing measures, such as a bonus for artisans currently sought by industry, and not an expensive package of initiatives, Leitl ended.

Austria’s Vice Chancellor Spindelegger also made clear recently that the ÖVP stands for stability and for predictability, explaining that this is why a tax reform is not feasible either this year or next. Spindelegger nevertheless underlined the need to protect Austrian taxpayers’ money, to shield the population from new tax rises, notably by clamping down on high risk activities using tax money in future, at all levels, whether federal or state.

TAGS: artisans | inheritance tax | tax | investment | business | property tax | gift tax | Austria | tax reform

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