Parliament activity, March 29 - April 9, 2004
15 April 2004
During the aforesaid period Parliament convened only on one plenary session, time sufficient to examine several pieces of legislation of major importance.
I. Law on approval of Title VII "Local Taxes" of the Fiscal Code
ADEPT Comment: The outlines the procedure and principles of setting, amending and cancelling local taxes, their maximal quotas, ways of payment, and procedure of granting exemptions.
Local taxes are defined as obligatory payments to the budget of administrative-territorial units. Local taxes shall include market taxes (20%); resort taxes (1%); parking taxes (10%); territory planning tax (40 Lei per year/ per employee); taxes for commercial units and service provision (3,600-9,000 per year); taxes for the right to carry passengers (500-1,700 Lei); taxes on housing (5%); taxes for applying local symbol (0.1%); taxes on holding auctions (0.1%); advertising taxes (5%); taxes on dogs (9-90 Lei).
Among those exempted from local taxes are:
- Public authorities and institutions funded from the state budget;
- Diplomatic missions and affiliated institutions;
- Providers of social advertising;
- Pensioners on the agricultural plots in their possession;
- Funeral services;
- Auctions held to recover debts to the budget.
Law includes other provisions as well, that allow local public administration to grant additional exemptions to economic units, or to postpone the payment of local taxes. On the one hand, this provision consolidates financial autonomy of the local public administration, on the other it leaves room for abuses. That is why territorial fiscal inspection departments shall oversee how local authorities enforce the law and seek to collect more revenues to the budget.
Noteworthy, initially Government proposed reducing many more local taxes, however deputies excluded only those on shooting movies and those on the sale in customs area. The Law shall enter in force as of January 2005, until then the current law shall be in force.
II. Law on procedure of publishing and republishing normative acts in the Official Monitor
ADEPT Comment: The law refers to the normative acts issued by Government or any other authority of the central public administration and amendments to them. Public authority that issued the act shall submit a copy thereof, certified by the official seal on each page, to "Moldpres" Agency. The act shall be submitted via official channels and shall be signed by the head of the issuing body or special persons designated in this respect. The same procedure shall be applied upon the recall of a document. The following errors may be corrected: grammar mistakes, omissions, or other minor errors.
The law also provides sanctions to relevant persons for the delays to publish, republish, or correct the normative acts and failure to fulfil their duties.
III. Law on ratifying Convention between Republic of Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina on eliminating double taxation on income and asset tax
ADEPT Comment: Convention refers to the following taxes on: income; real estate; profit from economic, professional and agricultural activity; property; revenues from copyright, licenses and technical innovations. Convention follows several principles, namely on non-discrimination, simplicity of payment and streamlining entrepreneurship.
IV. Law on modifying the Privatisation Program
ADEPT Comment: The law excluded "Nistru-Tavria" Servicing Centre and Ceadir-Lungu Tobacco Processing Plant from the list of units subject to privatisation. The former was excluded at the initiative of the Customs Department that would use the premises for its customs warehouses and terminals, as well as for servicing its cars. Currently the Servicing Centre accrued huge debts and its property is being under seizure so as to pay back creditors' claims.
The latter belongs to the Gagauz-Yeri Autonomous Unit, which believes that by preserving the company under the state property it would boost tobacco industry in the region. At the same time the company has huge arrears to the state budget and it would be possible to revitalise it provided huge investments are made.
V. Draft law on modifying and completing legal acts on declaring and control over the dignitaries' income
ADEPT Comment: The draft approved by the Parliament in the first reading operates amendments to the Law on declaring and control over the income of state officials, judges, prosecutors, public officers and some high rank officials. The draft extends the list of officials due to submit income declarations.
In addition, it operates amendments and completions to the Code of Offences and Penal Code, thus providing sanctions for breaching the aforesaid legal provisions. In particular the failure to submit income declaration or filling false data shall be sanctioned with a fine ranging from 6 to 10 thousand Lei and prohibition to hold public office from 1 to 5 years.
Noteworthy, on July 19, 2002 Parliament passed the Law no.1264-XV on declaring and control over the income of state officials, judges, prosecutors, public officers and some high rank officials. Under the law, officials are obliged to declare: a) income as of the date declaration is being filled; b) real and personal estate; c) financial claims, including those of the family members; d) share of personal estate, including of the family members, in the capital of economic units.