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Finance minister says government might consider taxing assets

Hungary’s Finance Minister Péter Oszkó said at a press conference that the government might consider taxing assets other than vehicles in addition to its proposed introduction of a real-estate tax.

Oszkó noted that whether it is worth taxing such assets remains an open question.

Oszkó said that the objective of the Bajnai government's proposed real-estate is to increase the fairness of Hungary's tax system, noting that taxes are already paid on 45% of residences in the country. The finance minister added that the average tax on homes would be just a fraction of the sum of next year's decrease in income tax on the average wage. Oszkó estimated the latter sum to be a month to six weeks' wages per year.

The upper limit of the lower income bracket for personal income taxes will be raised to HUF 5 million (€17,870) from the current HUF 1.9 million, Oszkó said.

This year the lowest 18% personal income-tax rate will also be raised to HUF 1.9 million from HUF 1.7 million, saving HUF 36,000 for 1.37 million people and somewhat less for another 250,000.

Hungary's parliament would have to approve the new tax laws by the end of June in order to facilitate the preparations of economic players in Hungary for 2010, Oszkó said. Although Oszkó mentioned raising the lower income limit for personal income taxes to HUF 5 million, the finance minister did mention the previously discussed changes of the lowest rates to 17% from 18% and the highest rates to 32% from 36%. (MTI – Econews)