New billboard tax could hurt ad businesses

Banking

The Hungarian Advertising Association (MRSZ) believes a recently submitted bill on raising taxes on billboard advertising could significantly raise costs at advertising firms. The association has consequently asked the Hungarian government to rethink the introduction of yet another sectoral tax on advertisers, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

According to the association, the bill submitted by the Ministry for National Economy could raise taxes advertisers pay by HUF 4-6 billion, leading to an increase in outdoor advertising costs of as much as 60%. 

The bill would allow local councils to levy a building tax on advertising surfaces of up to HUF 12,000 per square meter, MTI reported.

This twist is the latest development in an ongoing saga about advertising billboards around Hungary, just a few weeks after a draft bill leaked to online news portal index.hu in October suggested that the Hungarian government may be planning to restructure the billboard advertising market.

If the bill is approved, local governments will be authorized to set taxes on billboard advertising, which is expected to pose a serious burden on advertisers, according to index.hu. The online news portal notes that in this way, the government may achieve a similar influence on the market that it could have achieved through the earlier speculated banning of billboards.

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