Court urged to order new vote on tax breaks

The Federal Court has been asked to declare null and void the result of a ballot proposing tax breaks for companies, including a reduction in tax rates on dividends.

This content was published on April 12, 2011 - 13:05

Margret Kiener Nellen, a parliamentarian of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, filed a complaint with the supreme court arguing the vote was irregular as the authorities gave incomplete and misleading information on the expected shortfall in revenue and the main beneficiaries of the reform.

She said two cantons had also called on the government to suspend the outcome of the vote and to organise a new ballot.

In February 2008 voters narrowly approved the tax reform despite opposition by the centre-left and trade unions.

The government had forecast annual shortfalls of just SFr50 million ($55.5 million) but it later emerged that the reform would lead to a loss in revenue of SFr1.2 billion this year alone and at least SFr400 million annually from there on.

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has admitted that voter information was incomplete. But she said estimations of the financial impact were difficult to make and she warned against overruling a democratic decision.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected a number of proposals for a new vote. The Senate is to discuss the issue at a later date.

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