Italian government goes to court over tax exemptions to local ports
Accusations of state funding connected to tax exemptions for local ports have been rejected by the Italian government.
Italy's Minister of Transport, Paola De Micheli, has announced that she plans to challenge the Brussels decision to tighten the tax exemptions and will now refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
The goal is to retain the current paradigm that places local ports as a public infrastructure operated by authorities which are neither private entities nor market players.
“The European Commission has required Italy to abolish the corporate tax exemptions granted to its ports, in order to align its tax regime with EU state aid rules. Profits earned by port authorities from economic activities must be taxed under normal national corporate tax laws to avoid distortions of competition” a statement explained. EU competition rules recognise the relevance of ports for economic growth and regional development, allowing member States to invest in them," said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy.
The Brussels decision to put an end to tax exemptions for Italian ports was made public one month ago.
Maritime Business World