House, Senate raise tax exemption cap on bonuses, lock horns over coal tax hike provision in TRAIN
THE House of Representatives will not allow the inclusion of the coal tax in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion as it will increase the price of electricity, speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Thursday.
“Definitely, we will not allow it, “Alvarez said in a radio interview as he bared the House leadership’s position on the controversial coal tax.
The coal tax is among the contentious issues in the deliberation of the bicameral conference committee on the provisions of the respective versions of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the TRAIN.
The Senate approved a 3,000-percent increase in coal taxes to be collected in three tranches until 2020, which means the current P10 excise tax will be raised to P100 in 2018, P200 in 2019 and P300 by 2010. No such tax is included in the House version of the TRAIN.
Alvarez said the House will not allow the inclusion of the tax in coal, which is being used by many power plants. An increase in the tax on coal will result in higher electricity rates, Alvarez added.
“Let us look at this objectively from the point of view of the consumers. If we impose additional taxes in coal-powered plants, industry players will not find it acceptable and will have the increase passed on to consumers,” Alvarez said.
He said it would not take a rocket scientist to know that electricity prices would go up if Congress agreed to impose the new tax on coal and that this would create a ripple effect on the prices of goods and services.