DPP won't filibuster ractopamine vote, may battle stock gains tax
By Enru Lin ,The China PostThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday that it won't filibuster the vote on ractopamine, but that it may balk against the Kuomintang's (KMT) stock gains tax draft.
July 24, 2012, 12:04 am TWN
“The fight over U.S. beef containing ractopamine has already reached its height,” said DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) at the Legislative Yuan on Monday.
Today the Legislative Yuan is set to launch a special session that will handle at least three controversial bills, including a proposed amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法). In the last legislative session, the DPP held a weeklong filibuster to block the plenary's vote on the amendment.
The DPP is not planning to filibuster in the special session. Instead, the party will declare its position using the ballot, Ker said yesterday.
But opposition legislators may protest the KMT's version of the stock gains tax draft, either by not attending related proceedings or by requesting that the plenary deliberates on all tax programs submitted by all parties, Ker continued.
Earlier yesterday, the DPP, Taiwan Solidarity Union and People First Party (PFP) held a joint press event to ask that the KMT withdraw its stock gains tax draft.
DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said that the KMT stock gains tax program “is not a stock gains tax at all.”
The KMT tax program is dual-track, giving individual investors two choices: they can report stock gains as part of their income, or pay a stock transaction tax between 0.02 percent and 0.06 percent that only kicks in when the stock index closes at about 8,500 points.
This means that as long as the index remains below 8,500 points, investors are not taxed a cent for any amount of profit. But when the index goes over 8,500 points, individual investors are taxed even they make no earnings at all.
The KMT program will not result in taxing persons with actual stock gains and therefore cannot be called a stock gains tax program, said Wu, who said that future economics textbooks will be hard-pressed to explain why the program exists.
Instead of uniformly taxing gains, the KMT's program could end up taxing Taiwan's rising crop of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to the PFP's Thomas Lee (李桐豪).
Taiwan's SMEs would be taxed before they are able to get off the ground, said Lee.
Ker and TSU Legislator Hsu Chun-hsin (許忠信) stressed that the opposition parties are not opposed to imposing a stock gains tax.
“Don't roll out a stock gains tax just for the sake of having a stock gains tax,” said Ker.
“The government should take more time to develop an enduring, comprehensive stock gains tax draft,” said Hsu. “Otherwise, our stock market is only going to fluctuate more.”
The Legislative Yuan's extraordinary session is scheduled to vote on the stock gains tax tomorrow.