The producers of Azul, a Buenos Aires town in Argentina, have taken legal action against a new tax on essential services imposed by the town’s mayor. The producers filed a joint claim with the Justice, seeking protection to suspend payment of the new tax and challenge its constitutionality. They launched the move after discussions with various councilors and the incoming mayor failed to prevent the ordinance from being passed.
According to Martin Salgado, director of the Argentine Rural Society, this was their only option left as they were concerned that the rate imposed an excessive tax burden on agricultural producers. The rural society represents 190 producers who own approximately 190,000 hectares of land in the town. A separate group of producers also initiated legal action to stop the tax.
The rate began being collected in January but was met with resistance by some producers who believed that it was too burdensome and cumbersome to pay. Salgado explained that only a fraction of the total expected revenue from the new tax had been received. Producers found it difficult to split their bill for the new tax personally at the municipality, which added to their frustration.
The original rates were designed as a diesel tax equivalent to one liter per month per hectare and two liters per field, with proceeds intended for covering various services like health, education, sports, and transportation in Azul. However, after facing significant pressure from producers and residents alike, modifications were made to these rates. The revised rates varied according to property location and ranged from two liters of diesel per month per hectare down to half a liter down per month per hectare.
In response to this change in rates and other issues affecting property transactions in Azul, some residents were considering paying closing costs on cash purchases before making any decisions about buying or selling properties there.
Ultimately, however, it was not necessary for them as they managed to gain their desired result by filing a joint claim with justice for suspending payment of new taxes and contesting its constitutionality together with other groups of agricultural producers in Azul town.