After stopping the clock at midnight of the statutory deadline, the Chamber of Deputies passed the five revenue bills. The key vote was 415 to 24, with all parties voting in favor except the PT and Convergencia. The Chamber rejected the government’s proposed 2% anti-poverty sales tax and instead raised the value added tax rate by 1% to 16%, leaving food and medicine exempt. The Chamber approved the government’s other tax proposals: a temporary increase in the income tax rate to 30%, a 3% tax on Internet and other telecoms services; a 1.5% increase in excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol; a 1% hike in the tax on large cash deposits in banks; and an increase in tax on gambling earnings. The Chamber’s bills increase the target deficit by 0.2% to 0.7% of GDP. Finance Secretary Agustín Carstens estimated the package would raise Ps. 136 billion in tax revenues. He called it “a good package” and added, “given the circumstances, it is the best agreement possible.” (Reforma 10/22).
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