Meadville Tribune

Our Health

October 17, 2013

Tax bill with junk food levy advances in Mexican Congress

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's lower house finance committee Thursday approved changes to a bill to raise taxes, including a new levy on junk food, as President Enrique Pena Nieto's party joined with an opposition party to advance his reform.

The committee voted 30-12, with one abstention, to approve a modified version of Pena Nieto's proposal, increasing the top income tax rate to 35 percent and adding a 5 percent tax on high-fat foods, according to a draft of the bill. The bill goes to full lower house debate as soon as Thursday.

Pressure from lawmakers caused the Pena Nieto administration to strip out sales taxes on private education tuition, mortgage interest and home rentals from the original proposal. A junk food tax would help make up the shortfall, although it's taking a toll on food companies such as Grupo Bimbo, the world's largest baker, and Gruma, the world's biggest tortilla maker.

"This won't be easy" on companies, Carlos Hermosillo, a stock analyst with Grupo Financiero Banorte, said in an emailed response to questions. The tax on items containing 275 kilo-calories per 100 grams "would include many products."

Lawmakers from the National Action Party, the biggest opposition group in Congress, opposed the bill after Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, refused to drop its plan to increase the sales tax in states that border the U.S., including traditional strongholds for the party known as PAN.

A higher tax rate for top earners and duties on high-fat foods were proposals pushed by the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, the second-largest opposition group.

"The strategy of the government is very clear: they're bringing in the PRD and they're giving certain concessions in order to get their votes," Benito Berber, a strategist at Nomura Holdings, said in a telephone interview from New York. "This is a victory for the president and the finance minister. They found an ally that allows them to pass a not-so- diluted fiscal reform."

Under the plan approved last night, the maximum income tax rate would increase to 35 percent for people making more than 3 million pesos ($235,000), to 34 percent for those making more than 1 million pesos, 32 percent for more than 750,000 pesos in annual income and 31 percent for more than 500,000 pesos.

The current top income tax rate is 30 percent. Pena Nieto had proposed increasing the top tax rate to 32 percent for more than 500,000 pesos in income.

The lower house finance committee is still debating next year's budget, and the full chamber has a deadline of Oct. 20 to pass the revenue portion of the budget.

The fiscal bill that Pena Nieto presented on Sept. 8 would have increased tax revenue by 1.4 percentage points of gross domestic product in 2014 and 2.9 percentage points by 2018.

While the changes backed by the committee last night may raise less than that since some proposed taxes were removed, the duties supported by the PRD will help compensate, Nomura's Berber said.

        

1
Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014