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International

BRIEFLY

November 29, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Swiss Say Yes to New VAT Tax: The Swiss voted to introduce a value-added tax to curb a soaring government deficit and fall into line with other Western European nations. But voters rejected a ban on tobacco and alcohol advertising, a proposal put forward by health experts but opposed by the government. The universal VAT on goods and services will take effect at the start of 1995 and will replace a more selective turnover tax levied only on goods. In a surprise move, a 57.8% majority also voted to set the VAT rate at 6.5% instead of the current 6.2% for turnover tax. The Swiss finance minister had argued that the additional $934 million a 6.5% VAT would raise is desperately needed to curb a federal budget deficit expected to exceed $4.67 billion next year.

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