The director of the Integral Service of Customs and Tax Administration (Seniat), José Vielma Mora announced taxes on idle and non-productive land. This measure is part of the government’s struggle against latifundium (possession of large estates by a few absentee landlords).

“We don’t want to cause alarm, but the Seniat and the National Institute of Lands (INTI) are determined to take a census, as of 2005, of the thousands of hectares of land in the country in order to be able to tax those that are unproductive”, explained Vielma.

The maximum national customs authority assured that all of the constitutional and legal rights of the land owners will be respected, and emphasized that the new tax will be made effective in abidance by the Land Act.

The director stressed that “In 2005, the Seniat will also pursue a goal of 35 trillion bolívares (Bs) in tax collection”, and assured that by December 31st of this year, total tax collection for 2004 will be 22 trillion Bs.

He also announced the inauguration, between January 18th and 25th of 2005, of the Principal Airport Customs Office in the Maiquetía airport, and of the Principal Ecological Customs Office in Santa Elena de Uairén. He also noted that the National Assembly will discuss the Anti-smuggling bill, the bill against illegal reproduction of products, and the bill against currency exchange fraud.

Last week, the director presided this year’s last meeting of the Presidential Commission against Customs Fraud.

Published in Quantum N.44