Gov’t rakes in compliance taxesThe government collected 19.1 trillion won ($16.1 billion) in “compliance taxes” in 2015, up 11.2 percent from the previous year.
A compliance tax is a type of tax where the government spends the money it collects specifically on issues related to the items that were taxed. For example, money collected through a compliance tax on cigarettes would likely be spent on health care projects.
According to a Ministry of Strategy and Finance report submitted to the National Assembly at the end of last year, the government collected quasi-taxes in a total of 94 areas last year, and 61 of them saw their amount rise from 2014.
The amount increased the most in the area of health promotion, largely due to the rise in cigarette prices. It rose by 52 percent, or 847.3 billion won, year on year. This accounted for 42 percent of the total amount of increase for 2015 compared to the previous year.
The government also collected more money for electricity and agricultural purposes. The ministry said it received 197.3 billion won more for electricity, as more people used electricity in general compared to last year. The amount for the agricultural sector increased by 114.7 billion won.
The central government used 86.4 percent of the total amount, or 16.5 trillion won, and local governments and public institutions used the rest.
The government spent the most money, some 5.1 trillion won, in the energy sector on tasks such as developing new energy resources and storing crude oil.
They used another 20 percent, or 3.8 trillion won, for financial sector projects and 14.5 percent, or 2.8 trillion won, for environment sector projects. Another 2.5 trillion won went to the health and medical sector.
BY HAM SEUNG-MIN AND KIM YOUNG-NAM [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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