Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi, PdL insist IMU property tax must go

English
© ANSA

Rome, August 9 - A decision on the controversial
IMU property tax will be made by the end of this month, Premier
Enrico Letta pledged Friday as he tried to cool a renewed
political firestorm over the topic.
He spoke as ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and outraged
members of his People of Freedom (PdL) party reacted with fury
to comments made one day earlier by Italy's economy minister.
Fabrizio Saccomanni said it would not be fair to eliminate
the tax, adding that the country cannot afford to lose the
billions in revenue it generates.
That infuriated Berlusconi.
"Italy should not be afraid of the future," said Berlusconi
in a statement.
"We will never fail in our IMU commitment (to eliminate the
tax)," he added.
In a rhetorical flourish, Berlusconi – whose conviction for
tax fraud was upheld by Italy's highest appeals court last week
- presented the IMU dispute as a "battle for freedom".
Cutting the property tax will also provide economic
stimulus by leaving money in the pockets of homeowners, he
added.
The PdL has insisted that if Letta and his center-left
Democratic Party (PD) colleagues fail to yield on the tax
elimination, Berlusconi's party will bring down the shaky
coalition government.
Letta urged political parties to cool the rhetoric and
focus on the merits of the argument.
"These are not simple issues to unravel, but we will
discuss and decide," said Letta.
The latest round in the long-running battle over the tax
came Thursday, when Saccomanni said that abolishing the IMU
property tax would cost the government 2.426 billion euros in
revenue in 2013.
In a list of nine hypothetical reforms to the tax,
Saccomanni laid out the impact on revenue and the effects on
taxpayers.
"The proposed exemption of IMU for primary residences does
not seem fully justified in terms of fairness and efficiency,"
said Saccomanni, a non-political former deputy governor of the
Bank of Italy.

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