Published on 01 Feb 17
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
China’s remarkable economic growth over the past 35 years has come at a cost, not least being a significant deterioration in its natural environment. Chinese authorities have responded to this challenge with a range of measures including the imposition of specifically targeted environmental imposts on business enterprises. In addition, the Chinese central government recently introduced a broader draft environmental tax law directed at air, water, noise and solid waste pollution.
At the same time, China has been pursuing a separate policy of encouraging the development of agricultural cooperatives. Cooperatives of all types play an important part in China’s economic and social development but agricultural cooperatives have a particular importance given their role in assuring a stable food supply. They bring benefits in the form of economic stimulation, social cohesion and increased productivity. The Chinese central government, recognizing the importance of these benefits, has provided incentives to the development of cooperatives, specifically exemptions from VAT and stamp duty. Local overnments in their turn have provided incentives, notably exemptions from a range of taxes including land use tax, business
tax and tax registration fees.
This paper examines the extent to which Chinese cooperative enterprises - and agricultural cooperatives in particular – can and should be subjected to environmental imposts and how the two policy goals of environmental protection and the promotion of agricultural cooperatives can best be aligned to best ensure positive outcomes for both.
Bill Butcher is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business Law and Taxation, University of New South Wales.
Current at November 2008