With the appointment of a new government, a lively debate has ensued about redirecting fiscal policies in support of a balanced revenue-raising strategy that is conducive to investment and growth. Currently, Armenia needs to raise more revenues in support of fiscal consolidation and to generate additional funding for developing and maintaining the physical infrastructure with special reference to the need of improving the urban built-up environment. Since the Authorities requested the mission to consider tax measures that are supportive of growth and/or tradeable sector, the proposed restructuring of taxes recognizes that real estate taxes, resource rent taxes, and broad-based consumption taxes (VAT and excises) are least distortive for growth. The 2016 Technical Assistance Mission in its report reviewed already unutilized tax bases as far as excises are concerned (taxation of gambling, mobile air time, waste packaging taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxation). As requested by the authorities, this mission focused on improving personal and business income taxes, presumptive taxation, and the recurrent real estate tax as base-broadening of the latter could support the fiscal program of the new government.
Vincent Belinga, Ms. Dora Benedek, Ruud A. de Mooij, and Mr. John Norregaard
By how much will faster economic growth boost government revenue? This paper estimates short- and long-run tax buoyancy in OECD countries between 1965 and 2012. We find that, for aggregate tax revenues, short-run tax buoyancy does not significantly differ from one in the majority of countries; yet, it has increased since the late 1980s so that tax systems have generally become better automatic stabilizers. Long-run buoyancy exceeds one in about half of the OECD countries, implying that GDP growth has helped improve structural fiscal deficit ratios. Corporate taxes are by far the most buoyant, while excises and property taxes are the least buoyant. For personal income taxes and social contributions, short- and long-run buoyancies have declined since the late 1980s and have, on average, become lower than one.