Finance ministry State Secretary András Tállai called a proposal by the mayor of Budapest to levy a “jumpstart” tax on businesses “inept” in an interview published in Thursday’s issue of daily Magyar Nemzet. “The idea is inept and threatens to do extraordinary damage,” Tállai told the paper. “Increasing the tax burden or introducing any kind of general tax during a crisis can immediately strip away that small opportunity to remain on one’s feet,” he added.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said a week earlier that the city is weighing the introduction of a 0.5% “jumpstart” tax on high-turnover businesses until the city recovers from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. The temporary tax would be paid by businesses whose Local Business Tax base is over 5 billion forints (EUR 13.7m), with the aim of collecting revenue from companies that have not been as hard hit as other branches of the economy, he added.
Tállai acknowledged that levying such a tax is in the scope of the municipal council’s power, but said it would run counter to the central government’s efforts to provide businesses with tax relief. He recommended the mayor sack his “useless advisors” which could generate savings “in the billions” of forints.