The measure applies to businesses that were declared “nonessential” and, therefore, had no activity during quarantine
The Buenos Aires Legislature approved on Thursday afternoon a package of aid measures for City shops that have been declared as non-essential during social isolation, among which stands out a two-month waiver of the payment of the ABL, real estate and of the tax for use and occupation of the Public Space.
The measure is taken in a context of severe crisis, in which more than 24,000 commercial points have already closed their doors definitively.
In the framework of an extensive session that began after 11 in the morning and lasted beyond 19, the initiative presented by the Executive was approved by a large majority, although many sectors that accompanied it were critical due to their character “limited”, “late” and even “lacking in creativity”.
The 54 positive votes were contributed by the deputies of the Vamos Juntos, UCR-Evolución, GEN, Socialist Party, Federal Consensus and Front of All, while the 3 deputies who make up the blocks of the Left Front voted against and the representative abstained. of Self-determination and Freedom.
Tax cost of the measure
According to the president of the Budget commission, Claudio Romero (Let’s Go Together) it has an approximate fiscal cost of 600 million pesos.
Romero commented that the efforts made by the City are “important” if the drop in collection and the disposition of most of the resources for the attention of the health and social emergency derived from the pandemic are taken into account.
In addition, he was critical of some “ambitious” projects presented by the opposition and, without mentioning which one he was referring to, commented that there is one that has an estimated cost of 109 billion pesos, much more than the 73 billion allocated to the area of Health.
Commerce: a wave of closings affects the sector.
Criticism of the City’s measures
Manuel Socias (Frente de Todos) explained that the accompaniment by his bloc occurred because “it is better late than never” but that this type of measures should have been dealt with “3 or 4 months ago”.
“He is late and at the wrong time. It is necessary to point out his lack of contact with reality.Anyone can believe that exempting two ABL fees means relief for businesses that were closed 4 months ago and are no longer paying? If a merchant has something, he goes to pay his employees, his suppliers, to pay the rent, “said the deputy.
He also pointed out that, as ABL is concerned, the proposed waivers are “very marginal in the cost structure” of the merchants.
“Lack of creativity,” Socías shot and pointed out as an example measures taken by other jurisdictions such as Neuquén and La Rioja to assist merchants through bonuses and discounts on the payment of Gross Income.
Romero seemed to answer those objections when affirming that “the City is compared to provinces that have royalties” and that of the Treasury Contributions (ATN) only 4 percent was received, while the province of Buenos Aires obtained 52%.
The opposition described the relief measures as insufficient.
For his part, Juan Nosiglia (UCR-Evolution) reiterated that it is an “initiative well focused on the sectors that are most committed today, such as commerce, gastronomy and hospitality, SMEs, which do not carry out essential activities and which generate 70% of registered employment in the private sector ”
“Of course it is not a definitive solution to the crisis that the sector is going through but it comes at the time when many are deciding whether to continue when the quarantine is opened or to lower the blind. The State cannot drop more SMEs and the national Government, with the back and resources of the issue, must finance more protection and stimulus programs“he claimed.
Sergio Abrevaya (GEN) also voted in favor of the measures that he considered as “relief” for bankrupt businesses or “that are about to fail” but he also asked to “advance with other projects” to help sectors such as the monotributistas.
For his part, Gabriel Solano (Partido Obrero-FIT) considered that it is an “invotable” law since “what is proposed is nothing” for those who need it most and “but that it is an enormous benefit” for large companies .
The norm leaves “the obligation of payment” of the Real Estate Tax, occupation of public space and ABL of the months June and July 2020 to non-essential commercial premises, but it is clarified that gastronomic premises may also enjoy the same right, hospitality, accommodation, pensions, nursing homes, temporary shelters or motels.
Find out the latest on digital economy, startups, fintech, corporate innovation and blockchain. CLICK HERE