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DPP lawmaker proposes lifting amusement tax on golf

2012/04/15 17:27:49

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chia-lung proposed Sunday to lift the amusement tax levied on greens fees at golf courses to encourage the development of more world-class golfers in Taiwan.

Lin proposed to amend Article 2 and 5 of the Amusement Tax Act, which state that a tax of no more than 20 percent will be charged on greens fees at Taiwan's golf courses.

He said the government lifted the amusement tax on admission to pool halls and bowling alleys in 2007, but the tax remains for admission to golf courses and contributes an average of NT$100 million (US$3.39 million) to NT$200 million a year to national coffers.

Lin said people used to think of golf as a sport for the rich, but today many see it as a common recreational sport.

With the rise of world No. 1 female golfer Yani Tseng and the inclusion of golf at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Taiwan should lift the tax on golf to help cultivate more golfers, he said.

The proposal has won some support across party lines. Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-jen said the removal of the tax would help erase the impression that golf is a sport for the elite.

DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei said many schools now have golf clubs and offer courses in golf, a sign that the sport has gradually become something anybody can play.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao said that since golf club memberships have been included among the items subject to the luxury tax, Lin's proposal could be further discussed as a complementary policy.

But he did not sign a letter supporting the elimination of the amusement tax on golf.

A luxury tax is imposed on sales of golf club memberships of more than NT$500,000, according to the Ministry of Finance.

(By Sherry Tang and Ann Chen)