China slaps tax on disposable wooden chopsticks, luxury goods
Wed Mar 22, 7:10 AM ET AFP
China will impose a tax on disposable wooden chopsticks in an effort to protect the environment and raise rates on yachts and other luxury goods to help narrow the wealth gap.
From April 1, a five percent consumption tax on chopsticks and wooden floor panels will be imposed to discourage their use and reduce waste of timber resources, the Finance Ministry said on its website late Tuesday.
China's production of disposable chopsticks uses 1.3 million cubic meters (45.5 million cubic feet) of timber each year, the ministry said, with the decision reported in the state press on Wednesday.
China sells 10 billion boxes of wooden chopsticks a year domestically and exports about six billion boxes annually, the China Daily newspaper said.
Also on the environment front, there will be minimal changes to the tax structure for smaller cars to encourage their use while autos with bigger emission ratings will be hit with undisclosed increases.
Oil-based products will also be taxed to reduce energy use. The tax on solvents and lubricants will be 0.2 yuan (2.5 US cents) per liter (0.26 gallon).
However companies will have to pay only 30 percent of the announced tax on the oil products to reduce the impact on industry.
To narrow the gap between rich and poor, yachts, golf clubs and golf balls will be taxed 10 percent, while high-end watches will be taxed 20 percent, according to the government.