The Forest Environmental Tax in Japan will start in FY 2019(Jan.1 2018)

On December 14, 2017, the ruling parties of Japan announced the 2018 Tax Reform Proposal, "From the viewpoint of achieving Japan's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets under the framework of the Paris Agreement", in the fiscal 2019 tax system revision, We will create "Forest environmental tax (tentative name) and forest environment transfer tax (tentative name)" of about 600 million dollars.

The following test is from a part of the Proposal

 4. Securement of the local revenues involved in forests as a source of carbon absorption

Forest development does not only contribute for prevention of climate change, but also affects on the conservation of national land, cultivation of water catchment, rural development and construction of comfortable living life environment. However, there is a significant challenge to promote forest development due to a loss of management motivation amongst forest owners, increase of unknown ownership, existence of forests without clear boarder and lack of workers etc. It is necessary to address those challenges above and promote appropriate forest resources management to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction target and also to protect people from disasters which could cause widespread damage even including urban residents, such as large-scale land slides and flood.
Therefore, the forest laws and regulations are to be revised to establish a new scheme by April 2019 that enables the municipalities to manage forests where the natural condition deteriorated and/or non profitable. To provide grants to the municipalities for forest development etc. based on such revisions, the Forest Environment Tax (tentative name) and the Forest Environment Donation Tax (tentative name) are established which contain the following at the tax reform of fiscal year 2019;
The Forest Environment Tax (tentative name) shall be a national tax which burden is to be shared equally by every single citizen throughout urban and rural areas as a scheme to support forests which play important role as absorption of green house gases etc. It shall be imposed and collected by the municipalities additionally with individual inhabitant tax on per capita basis by utilizing the same mechanism of inhabitant tax.
The Forest Environment Tax (tentative name) shall be considered as local individual revenue sources which to be transferred as the Forest Environment Donation Tax (tentative name) for prefectures and municipalities after paying up the total amount in the special accounts for allocated tax and the transfer tax allocation for local governments, rather not going through the national general account. The Forest Environment Donation Tax (tentative name) shall be used for expense based on the fixed purpose by laws such as securing workers and training, promoting wood uses and rising awareness of forest development and supporting the forest development by municipalities which is implemented by prefectures.
The Forest Environment Tax (tentative name) shall be taxed from fiscal year 2024 by taking account of the scheduled consumption tax rate up to 10% in October 2019 and individual inhabitant tax on per capita basis increase until 2023 to secure local governments financial resources relevant to disaster prevention strategy based on the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The tax rate shall be 1,000 JPY annually based on consideration of additional demand amount after the new forest management scheme and people’s sense of burden.
On the other hand, the transfer of The Forest Environment Donation Tax (tentative name) shall be implemented with a new forest management scheme from fiscal year 2019 due to the urgent needs of addressing on site challenges of forest management.
The financial sources of transfer up until fiscal year 2023 shall be managed through tentative borrowings under the special accounts for allocated tax and the transfer tax allocation for local governments, based on ideas to allot from expected Forest Environment Tax (tentative name) revenue in subsequent years. Along with the development of institutional systems of local governments, setting the amount of transfer to be increased gradually while borrowings shall be redeemed certainly by part of the Forest Environment Tax (tentative name) revenues in subsequent years.

The Discussions over the proposal have begun

EDITORIALS of the Japan Times "Forestry tax merits scrutiny" (2017/12/23)

This site will follow the important discussions both for the Japanese citizens and forest as well as the global them.

(the FETJ0)

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