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The Ministry of Agriculture rejects the introduction of a land tax in Hódmezővásárhely, in southern Hungary, a state secretary of the ministry said on Wednesday. Sándor Farkas called introducing the tax, at the initiative of the city’s mayor, Péter Márki-Zay, an “irresponsible” move and said his ministry would take legal steps to prevent “such burdens” from being imposed in future. Farkas insisted that it was an “eighty-year-old leftist tradition to discriminate and look down on farmers” and suggested that similar attitudes were typical of mayors with leftist leanings. The state secretary noted the “historic draughts” that had hit Hungary in summer, and said that soaring energy, fertiliser and seed prices had created a difficult economic situation. Imposing a land tax would result in higher producer prices further increasing inflation, he said. Farkas also said double taxation was prohibited under Hungarian and community law, and as long as farmers were paying the local government for ranger services, further taxes on their land could not be imposed. He added that the Constitutional Court had earlier ruled against such initiatives.