April 12, 2019 / 2:52 PM / 2 months ago

Polish lawmakers approve copper tax cut ahead of election

WARSAW, April 12 (Reuters) - Poland’s lower house of parliament, dominated by the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, approved on Friday a 15 percent cut in the copper tax to allow more investment by state-run copper producer KGHM .

The mining levy was introduced in 2012 by PiS’s predecessors in an attempt to improve the state budget.

Calculated using a complicated formula based on local production volumes, the tax primarily affects KGHM, one of the world’s biggest copper and silver producers, which has struggled with rising costs.

Poland holds a general election later this year. PiS promised to lower the tax ahead of the last such vote in 2015, but so far no cut had been implemented.

KGHM is a major employer in southeast Poland and reducing the tax would be a welcome move for many voters in the region.

KGHM paid 1.67 billion zlotys ($442 million) in mining tax in 2018, while the group’s net profit was 1.66 billion zlotys.

Reducing the mining levy will lower budget revenues by an estimated 180 million zlotys in 2019 and 240 million zlotys in subsequent years. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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