Thursday, 18 May 2017

New tax to provide 12 million euros to nuclear energy zones in Catalonia

ACN / Patrícia Mateos/ David Riol

Barcelona (ACN).- The new nuclear plants tax, a tax on environmental risk, transport and handling, and safe-keeping of radiotoxic elements will provide 20% of the revenue in the Terres de l’Ebre and Camp de Tarragona, two areas in the south of Catalonia. The two main nuclear plants in Catalonia are in Ascó and Vandellós, both in the southern region. The money will arrive at the beginning of 2018 and the Catalan Government is creating a working group to agree on investment strategies in those zones. The total tax receipts will reach 12 million euros.

The first investment, corresponding to revenue collected since April of 2017, will be awarded at the beginning of 2018. For this reason, the Catalan Tax Office Secretary, Lluís Salvadó, has met with Municipal governments in those zones to found a working group that can design and manage strategic projects that take advantage of these monies. The meetings stipulated some aspects of the new tax regulation that has to be approved by the end of the year.

Salvadó defended that the tax is a long-term “strategy”. The policy is “fair and necessary for the territory” which is facing a future without nuclear plants nor the jobs that they create. Unlike 2014, this new tax on environmental risk has been supported by the Catalan Statute Guarantee Council. “The tax will withstand any Constitutional Court verdict and that reassures us,” Lluís Salvadó explained.

A month after the law's approval, the Spanish Government has not requested Court intervention, although it still has six months to do so. “If Spain has any doubt about any Catalan tax, it acts immediately. We have had a huge number of experiences over the past few years. But in this case, there has not been any issue here,” the Catalan Tax Office Secretary added.

A tax regulation

On this front, the Catalan Tax Office is working with area municipal governments and the Government delegations in the areas around Ascó and Vandellós. An “administrative structure” is needed to manage the 20% of the resources from the new tax that will be used to drive the area’s economy but also in security improvement and nuclear risk prevention.

Money management will be regulated. The Catalan Government has started to work on the regulations because the first amounts corresponding to the revenue from April to December will arrive in 2018. A new regulation should be ready at the end of this year. The working commission will meet periodically.

  • Ximeneia_ASco

  • Image of a nuclear power station located in Ascó (by ACN)