FRANCE is expected to impose a carbon tax on industrial energy users in 2001

FRANCE is expected to impose a carbon tax on industrial energy users in 2001

March 01, 2000

FRANCE is expected to impose a carbon tax on industrial energy users in 2001.

The Jospin government released an action plan in mid-January of 96 measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The centerpiece of the plan is a tax of 150 to 200 francs ($23 to $31) per ton of carbon emissions to take effect in 2001. The tax would increase gradually until it reaches 500 francs ($77) a ton in 2010. Many details remain to be filled in. Energy intensive industries, like aluminum, cement and chemical producers, have been fighting the tax on grounds that it will erode their competitiveness with producers from other countries that do not impose a similar tax.

Jospin said in a January 19 speech that he is “conscious of the need to exonerate certain sectors that would be particularly penalized by this tax.”

BULGARIA reduced its corporate tax rate by 2% effective January 1. The combined corporate and municipal tax rate dropped from 34.3% to 32.5%.

CHINA is expected to drop special tax incentives for foreign investment when it is admitted into the World Trade Organization. Foreign joint ventures usually qualify for an income tax holiday for the first two years and a reduced 15% income tax rate for the next three years. There is no timetable for dropping these incentives, but a new unified tax code is working its way through the government and is expected to take effect in 2001. Existing investments are expected to be grandfathered.

FLORIDA is debating whether to drop a tax on debt instruments and other intangibles. Florida Governor Jeb Bush called on the state legislature in his budget message in January to phase out the tax over the next two years. A Senate committee voted in late February to reduce the tax, but not eliminate it.

Keith Martin