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October 16, 2018
ECONOMY FINANCE&BANKING POLITICS

Debates on amendments to Fiscal Code postponed one week within parliamentary cttees

The Senate’s Economic Committee postponed, on Tuesday, the issuance of its report on the bill approving the Government emergency ordinance (OUG) amending the Fiscal Code, with the Budget Committee set to take a similar decision.

Economic Committee members decided that the report should be issued next Tuesday, Committee Chairman Daniel Zamfir (PNL) invoking the need for a debate that would include the representatives of the business environment.

Present at the Economic Committee meeting, PSD’s Eugen Teodorovici, Chairman of the Senate’s Budget Committee, pointed out that the report will be adopted next week.

According to the two, the meeting with the representatives of the business environment will most likely take place on Monday, in parallel with the Senate’s plenary meeting.

PNL’s Daniel Zamfir has tabled two amendments, one of them stipulating that companies with turnovers lower than EUR 1 million will be able to choose between paying a 16 percent profit tax or a 1 percent turnover tax. The second amendment stipulates that the amendments to the Fiscal Code included in the Government emergency ordinance will come into force within six months, not on 1 January 2018 as the OUG currently stipulates.

 

Arad Mayor to notify Ombudsman about fiscal amendments

 

Arad Mayor Gheorghe Falca announced on Tuesday that he will notify the Ombudsman about the amendments to the Fiscal Code adopted by the Government, pointing out that “there are PSD mayors who encourage us to do this, because they too are affected.”

“It’s the only solution, the municipality of Arad loses EUR 16 million this year. We will lodge the notification with the Ombudsman the moment our discussion with the lawyers is finalised. We want each administration to file a notification, in order to convince the Ombudsman to forward this notification to the Constitutional Court. I can confirm that there are very many PSD mayors who communicate with us, encouraging us to do these gestures, because they too are affected, it’s just that it is more difficult for them to talk,” Gheorghe Falca stated for Mediafax.

The Mayor of Arad added that the emergency ordinance amending the Fiscal Code, adopted last week, infringes two “great principles.”

“Because of this ordinance, local communities lose 28 to 40 percent of their revenues. This is unspeakable, because it’s an attack on the citizens of those communities. It sends us ten years back, while the municipalities already have well-defined projects. Money are needed for the co-financing of European grants, and this ordinance infringes two great principles: 1 – there is no urgency to lower revenues, 2 – according to the Constitution, and the Romanian as well as European laws, central administrations, when they introduce certain services, obligations for city halls, they must compensate with financial sums the fulfilment of those obligations,” Gheorghe Falca explained.

The Arad Mayor stated that the OUG amending the Fiscal Code “drastically reduces revenues” and he does not understand why it was adopted.

“In fact, through this ordinance we are left with all the obligations from the standpoint of public services rendered to citizens, from the standpoint of developing the communities. On the other hand, our revenues are drastically reduced. We make very great efforts to bring European funds to the country. During a seven-year term, 2014-2020, in a community like Arad, around EUR 50 million comes directly, and the Romanian Government takes EUR 50 million in three years. We don’t understand why they did this, whom is it that this gesture helps, because the development of localities is compromised at this moment,” Gheorghe Falca concluded.

 

Iasi City Hall tries to block Fiscal Code in court. Mayor Chirica invokes the “flagrantly infringed” local autonomy. How much money Moldavia’s main city stands to lose

 

On Tuesday morning, Iasi Mayor Mihai Chirica stated for Mediafax that the city hall will attack the Fiscal Code in court.

“We are using the routes stipulated by the Constitution, the Ombudsman, and we’ll ask for the support of other institutions that can challenge the enforcement of a law, the High Court, the Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General. We want the existing Romanian law observed, we’re talking about local public autonomy, which is flagrantly infringed, because there is an article of law according to which the local public administration authorities must be reasonably consulted about all financial allocations they deserve that are not allocated to them, something that hasn’t happened and that affects all of us in a decisive manner,” Mihai Chirica said.

According to the mayor, local authorities were placed “in an embarrassing situation” vis-à-vis the banks.

“The balance sheet starts from the budget deficit we must undertake, starting in 2018, minus EUR 20 million, RON 96.5 million more precisely, representing revenues that no longer end up at the legal authority, based on the provisions of this ordinance. It features no compensatory measure in what concerns the rebalancing of local budgets. It has placed us in an embarrassing situation with the financing banks, because we contracted loans based on a certain legally-stipulated level of indebtedness for local authorities, we obtained the green light from the Finance Ministry and the other state institutions that handle these reports, and overnight we discover that an ordinance, which does not have an urgent character, (…) does not observe the local public autonomy law,” the mayor added.

In Mihai Chirica’s opinion, the emergency ordinance adopted by the Government, which fundamentally amends the Fiscal Code, generates a lot of harm.

“I don’t know to whom this commitment to local authorities belongs, considering it only generates harm. I don’t understand, it makes no sense, it has no legality, even more so I don’t see why there would be the advisability of enforcing such an ordinance. That is why we’re going to court,” the mayor said.

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