Parliament passes law for Catalan Tax Office
CATALAN NEWS AGENCY – The legislation lays the foundation for the tax agency of an independent Catalonia
The Catalan Parliament on Friday passed new tax legislation to provide for a Tax Office of Catalonia (ATC, in Catalan), thanks to the combined votes of the pro-independence Together for Yes (JxSí) coalition and the CUP party. The rest of the parties in the parliament – Cs, PSC, CSQP and PPC – voted against.
The legislation, which lays out the structure for a Catalan tax system that includes the ATC, is the first of three so-called ‘disconnection’ laws aimed at preparing Catalonia for independence. However, the text of the bill was amended from that originally approved by the Economy and Tax Commission to take out the article and provisions declared unconstitutional by the Council of Statutory Guarantees (CGE, in Catalan).
In presenting the bill, Maria Senserrich (JxSí) said that the approval of the new norms lays down “the foundations of a structure of State,” while Eulàlia Reguant from the CUP party, whose votes provided JxSí with the necessary parliamentary majority, recommended the creation of a “central public bank” for when Catalonia becomes a Republic.
Yet, the other parties in the parliament were not convinced, with Cs liberal party member Antonio Espinosa telling JxSí and CUP that they should not depend on his party’s support in creating what he called a “secessionist agency”. Meanwhile, the PSC Catalan socialist member, Alícia Romero, accused JxSí and CUP of confusing lawmaking with “public debate”, although she also admitted that new tax legislation was no doubt necessary.
In an interview with ACN, the Tax Secretary Lluís Salvadó insisted that the abandoned parts of the legislation declared unconstitutional by the CGE were “absolutely secondary and were not part of the [law’s] main core.” Salvadó also pointed out that the new tax code is a “very complex” law with more than 200 articles that lays down the design for bodies that will make up the structure of a future Catalan tax system. Among its provisions is the creation of a Tax Council to advise the Catalan government on tax issues, which will be made up of government members, local bodies, representatives of tax associations, and academics with a recognised speciality in the subject.
The tax code is one of three so-called ‘disconnection’ laws considered integral to the sovereignty process. The other two deal with the constituent process to take place following any declaration of independence, and another to provide a Catalan Republic with a social security system.