|IAPA asks Argentine president to exempt small, mid-sized publications from full VAT|
|MIAMI, Florida (September 17, 2003)—The Inter American Press Association
(IAPA) today called on Argentine President Néstor Kirchner to exempt small
and medium-sized newspaper publishing companies from having to pay value added
tax (VAT) at the top rate, saying this could put their very existence at risk.
In a message to Kirchner the president of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Rafael Molina, urged him to take immediate action to authorize the exemption.
“I write to you to express our concern because if you do not intervene small and medium-sized Argentine newspapers very shortly will face a situation that puts their financial viability in danger,” wrote Molina, editor of the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, news magazine Ahora.
He added that while other small and mid-size Argentine companies are subject to favorable tax rules, the publishing companies were inexplicably omitted from these some years ago and such discrimination was now a serious setback.
The IAPA had previously protested the tax burden, which it says could bring serious consequences for freedom of the press, as the disappearance of small and medium-sized publications would mean a curtailment of an independent press and would limit access to other sources of news and views.
“Given your insistence on the need to respect the plurality of information,
and to have it respected,” Molina told Kirchner, “we request your
urgent intervention to prevent the consequences of a situation that would seriously
affect small and medium-sized publications and all those that are published
in the Argentine provinces.”