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Cronicile

So-called “Belina Law” was adopted. Opposition will refer CCR: it turns Belina Island into a fiscal paradise

de Razvan Diaconu , 21.4.2019

The Chamber of Deputies adopted on Tuesday the bill that provides for a derogating tax regime, such as tax exemptions or reductions, for land and construction projects on islands, hills and other land areas with potential for economic exploitation. That is the so-called Belina Law, as the Opposition called it because it could turn Belina Island, which got under the operation of Tel Drum company, into a fiscal paradise.

The law goes to promulgation, as the Chamber of Deputies is the decision-making body in this case but it will be challenged to the Constitutional Court by PNL and USR, informs Agerpres.

“It creates tax havens for friends. It’s about solving some group interests,” said USR Deputy Stelian Ion.

The leader of Liberal Deputies, Raluca Turcan, explained that the adoption of the bill does not follow the principle of bicameralism. “This law turns Belina into a tax haven. PNL will challenge this law to the Constitutional Court, a law that was made for the direct interest of PSD president Liviu Dragnea,” Turcan said.

The draft, initiated by PSD Senator Serban Nicolae, has passed in the Chamber of Deputies with 177 votes for, 85 against and nine abstainers.

This regulation establishes a derogating tax regime applicable to a certain category of land, to constructions built on it and authorized economic activities and they take into account islands, hills and other land areas with potential for economic exploitation, resulted from actions or natural changes of the territory or through hydro-technical works.

These lands are exempt from land tax, and for some activities, there is a reduced VAT of 5% applied.

The gambling activities that can be organized are those characterising casinos, poker clubs and bingo games carried out in gambling rooms, as defined by Government Emergency Ordinance 77/2009.

Public or private property land subject to this law:

islands, hills and other areas of land with potential for economic exploitation, resulted from actions or natural changes of the territory or through hydro-technical works.”

The derogating tax regime also applies to civil constructions built on these lands if they are intended exclusively to economic activities. By means of derogation from the Tax Code, this land is exempted from the land tax, in compliance with the State aid law.

The economic activities that can be authorized on this land are:

  • those of renewable energy production
  • tourism
  • recreation
  • public nutrition
  • retail
  • gambling
  • related services.

With regard to the value added tax, by means of derogation from the provisions of Art. 291 par (1) and (2) of Law 227/2015 on the Tax Code, the reduced VAT rate of 5% is applied on the tax base for the following deliveries of goods and services: water supply and sewerage services; the transport of persons and their baggage; services provided in connection with street cleaning, refuse collection and waste treatment, other than those provided by public institutions; natural gas, electricity or energy supply for urban heating.

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