Armenian government approves exemption of social advertising from taxes. Finance minister opposed

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YEREVAN, August 21. /ARKA/. At a meeting on Thursday, the Armenian government adopted the draft amendments to the Tax Code and a number of related bills which exempt social advertising from taxes.

According to Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Suren Papikyan, this project is one of the steps toward decentralization of public administration. In his words, for social advertising placed on the roads, it will be necessary to pay a monthly state duty to the community budget for each square meter of the banner of the previously established road tax.

“On state, interstate and regional roads, with the exception of sections passing through settlements, the road tax for advertising placed will be calculated at 25% of the initial amount. If the agency advertised its activities, then for each square meter the road tax will be calculated in the amount of 10% of the initial amount,” Papikyan said.

He said despite the fact that the tax, which went to the state budget, is replaced by the tax that is paid to the community, the state still takes responsibility for the roadbed.

Minister of Finance of Armenia Atom Janjugazyan is opposed to the project. He said that decentralization should mean not only the transfer of rights, but also responsibilities, and, according to the draft, the state retains responsibilities for itself. He noted that the financial losses are small. The question here is not about money, but about the approach to solving the problem. He proposed to refrain from accepting the project and once again discuss the matter in order to make a decision.

In response, Papikyan said that similar projects are being developed to transfer responsibility to communities. They will soon be piloted in larger communities, but a similar project has now been adopted to help communities “digest” the new responsibilities.

The draft was adopted despite the fact that Janjughazyan voted against.

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