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Bulgaria Parliament Presents New Twist on Alcohol, Cigarettes Tax

Date: 20.11.2009

The Members of the Bulgarian Parliament offered Thursday the latest surprise regarding the alcohol and cigarettes tax increase.

The new excise duties were changed and increased on second read during the Budget Committee meeting from their values approved on first read. The move makes the Parliamentary Hall voting crucial for the final decision.

The hard liquor tax, according to the latest stakes, would increase by BGN 0,72 per liter. The increase also includes the traditional homemade grape and fruit brandy - “rakia” where just the first 30 liters would be free of taxation. Only beer tax remains unchanged.

The cigarette tax will be BGN 100 for 1 000 cigarettes plus 23% of the sales prices. This will reduce the price difference between cheaper and more expensive cigarettes, but all cigarettes will be sold for over BGN 4 for a pack.

The opposition voiced once again their opinion the price hike would lead to an increase of cigarette and alcohol contraband while tobacco makers believe the move would not lower the staggering number of smokers in the country and would rather lead to people rolling tobacco, smoking cheaper cigarettes, or buying them on the black marker.

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