Ad tax hike could undermine media, says association

Banking

The Hungarian Advertising Association (MRSZ) has called on the government to drop plans to raise advertising tax from the current 5.3% to 7.5%, arguing that the move could undermine media outlets, according to Hungarian online news portal index.hu.

MRSZ Chairman Zsolt Urbán emphasized that the planned ad tax is against the interests of the Hungarian economy, according to reports.

The association put out a statement a day after Lajos Kósa, the Fidesz parliamentary group leader, said the government plans to raise the levy. Kósa said the tax could remain in place for “about four years” until it generates enough to cover refunds the state must pay because the European Commission deemed the tax discriminatory in an earlier form, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The Fidesz government has been playing with the idea of modifying the ad tax recently; however, communication on the issue has been mixed. In April, Kósa was reported to have said Hungary would not introduce a mooted 9% advertising tax - almost double the current measure - in 2018, adding instead that “we would like to cut the advertising tax,” Hungarian wire service MTI reported earlier.

The MRSZ previously also cried foul about the announced plans for doubling the measure.

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