Is there a state tax? – Hard battle for ORF fee reform begins

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In the battle for tariff reform at ORF, Minister of Media Raab is now starting negotiations with coalition partners. The amount and design of the household contribution are still open, but it should become noticeably cheaper. The state tax could become a bone of contention.

Exciting days lie ahead for the ORF. Managing director Roland Weißmann will present his savings plans to the supervisory board on Monday. It is about 300 million euros. As soon as the austerity package is known, Media Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) will start negotiations with the Green coalition partner about the structure and amount of the planned budget levy. This is intended to replace the previous GIS fee.

Green media spokeswoman Eva Blimlinger welcomed the ÖVP’s plans in principle. However, the details of the planned new tax must first be negotiated. A not unimportant part of the existing GIS tariff is the so-called national tariff. The federal states themselves determine the amount and purpose of use, only Upper Austria and Vorarlberg waive this fee (see image below).

The federal government does not assume that the other federal states will also do without it. If the state tax were removed from the GIS fee, ÖVP Finance Minister Magnus Brunner would have to replace this money with the states. On the other hand, he will probably fight back. For ORF viewers, the fee would be significantly reduced with no state tax. But that doesn’t seem planned.

Minister Raab had recently announced a “substantial reduction” in fees as a target. The rumored reduction of four euros would mean a saving of about 15 percent. The biggest change in the new model is the extension to all households. In the future, everyone will pay for the public service, whether they take up the offer or not. Only low-income and deaf people are exempt from the new tax. The new model should be ready by April at the latest.

Source: Krone

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