Colombia’s leftist president presents ambitious tax plan

Aug 8, 2022, 5:11 AM | Updated: 5:46 pm
Colombian President Gustavo Petro gives a joint press conference with Chile's President Gabriel Bor...

Colombian President Gustavo Petro gives a joint press conference with Chile's President Gabriel Boric at the presidential Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s first leftist president presented an ambitious tax plan on Monday that aims to raise up to $11 billion a year for anti-poverty programs.

Gustavo Petro was sworn into office on Sunday, and has promised to fight economic inequality while investing in rural areas that have long been haunted by drug-related violence.

Less than 24 hours after taking his presidential oath, the new president presented a tax reform plan to his nation’ s congress that will increase income taxes on wealthy individuals and place a 10% levy on oil exports. The bill also includes an annual wealth tax on individuals who have a net worth of more than $750,000 as well as sales taxes on soft drinks and highly processed foods.

Petro, who was formerly a member of a rebel group, has said it is vital for Colombia to increase state spending in order to fight poverty and implement a 2016 peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that includes land reform and rural development programs.

Tax collection in the South American Nation was worth roughly 19% of its total GDP in 2020, which is slightly below the Latin American average. Members of the OECD, an organization made up mostly of developed countries, collect an average of 33% of their GDP in taxes.

Governments in Colombia have long struggled with tax collection because much of the population works in the informal economy. Last year, an effort by conservative President Iván Duque to raise income taxes and some sales taxes sparked massive protests in which more than 50 people were killed.

Petro’s incoming finance minister said the new tax reform plan will only attempt to raise income taxes on the wealthiest 2% of individuals. He has urged Colombia’s wealthiest citizens to accept greater taxation, and addressed the issue during his inauguration speech.

“This should not be viewed as a punishment or a sacrifice,” he said. “It is simply a solidary payment that someone fortunate makes to a society that has enabled them to generate wealth.”

The government has also proposed doubling the nation’s 10% tax on dividends from stocks, and taxing the products of digital companies that aren’t based in Colombia. This might mean that Colombians would have to pay more taxes on their Netflix subscriptions or on books they buy on Amazon.

Colombia’s congress will now have to debate Petro’s proposed plan, which is expected to affect several areas of the economy.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)...
Associated Press

Fish and Wildlife shoots wrong wolf, more attacks confirmed

Wolves from two packs in northeast Washington state have attacked more cattle
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Video shows officer didn’t know police car was on tracks

DENVER (AP) — A police officer in Colorado who arrested a woman who was seriously injured when the parked patrol car she was in was struck by a freight train said he did not realize he had stopped the vehicle on the railroad tracks, according to police body camera video. In video obtained by KUSA-TV […]
13 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the Volvo Group Powertrain Operations in Hagerstown, Md., Friday, Oct...
Associated Press

Biden’s ‘Armageddon’ talk edges beyond bounds of US intel

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s warning that the world is at risk of a nuclear “Armageddon” was designed to send an unvarnished message that no one should underestimate the extraordinary danger if Russia deploys tactical nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine, administration officials said Friday. The president’s grim assessment, delivered during a Democratic […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

UN passes resolution urging support for flooded Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly expressed solidarity Friday with flood-battered Pakistan and called on the international community to increase aid and keep up the political will to support the country’s recovery long-term. The assembly passed a resolution that made all those points. It also urged the U.N. to step up efforts to […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Gov. Doug Burgum meets with state agency leaders in the state capitol to present his executi...
Associated Press

North Dakota tribes want exclusive rights on online gambling

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s five American Indian tribes are seeking exclusive rights to host internet gambling and sports betting in the state, a monopoly worth millions, just a year after legislators turned aside a push by one big national player to allow it in the state. The tribes are turning to Republican Gov. […]
13 hours ago
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a conversations with leaders from organi...
Associated Press

What Friday’s jobs report means for Fed’s inflation fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — For most Americans, Friday’s September jobs report was welcome news: Businesses kept hiring at a brisk pace, unemployment fell back to a half-century low and average pay rose. Yet for the Federal Reserve, the jobs figures highlight how little progress they’re making in their fight against inflation. With the Fed more likely […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Colombia’s leftist president presents ambitious tax plan