Şimşek calls for higher cigarette tax in Black Sea region
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Tobacco tax is a serious source of revenue, says Finance Minister Şimşek. DHA photoTurkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has called on the countries around the Black Sea to increase tax rates imposed on tobacco and tobacco products.
Speaking at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Tax Forum, which was organized Nov. 21 in the southern province of Antalya, Şimşek said: “The taxation in your countries is very low. [The Turkish government] has hiked the tax rates imposed on cigarettes. You have to do the same to prevent smuggling [in Turkey].”
Noting that Turkey obtains more than $10 billion in tax revenues per year from cigarettes, he said: “Instead of asking for loans from the International Monetary Forum, increase the tobacco tax. This may create a serious amount of revenue,” he said according to daily Radikal.
The price of one package of cigarettes of the most common brand in Turkey is $4.55, while the figure is between $1 and $1.50 in neighboring countries, he said.
“Let’s cooperate in taxation. Let’s make the taxation similar and parallel to each other. The Black sea countries can achieve it like the European Union,” he said. Meanwhile, the size of anti-smoking health warnings on cigarette packages has been increased from 30 percent to 65 percent, according to a new decree from the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority (TAPDK).