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Gov't proposes raising top ad tax rate

The government is proposing raising the upper rate for the advertising tax from 40% to 50%, National Economy Ministry deputy state secretary Zoltán Pankucsi told a parliamentary committee yesterday. 

Broadcaster RTL Group said after the tax was introduced in the summer that its Hungarian business was the only media company to be taxed in the top rate of the progressive tax. Some sources suggest that Hungarian subsidy of German RTL Group, RTL Klub, would still be hurt the worst under the new conditions.

Critics have said the original law was directly aimed at RTL Klub because it did not give friendly news coverage to the government. Since the original tax was introduced, RTL Klub has started running news stories that are even more critical of the government, and they now have the highest-rated TV news show in the country.