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Juarez leaders protest 16 percent approved tax increase

Benjamin Zamora-KTSM

POSTED: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 6:51pm

UPDATED: Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 2:12am

Juarez residents could be hit by a new general tax rate and it's effects could impact the borderland. This morning the Mexican lower house of Congress approved a 5 percent increase on the current tax rate of 11 percent.

Hundreds of businessmen, economic experts and residents gather at the Mexican Chamber of Commerce to protest the decision and share their concerns about this situation, they said many jobs will be lost.

"The power of purchase if you increase prices you will have less money to buy basic products you have to select in terms of price and quality," entrepreneurship division director at Tec. De Monterrey Enrique Portillo said.

The Secretary of the National Action Party or PAN in Juarez who has opposed this measure among Citizens Movement Party and the Worker's Party said the impact would be devastating for Juarez and El Paso.

"It affects the economy in Juarez and obviously people have less to spend here and in El Paso, some maquilas could leave that's our biggest concern," Secretary of PAN Ofelia Mijarez added.

Currently Juarez has a tax rate of 11 percent to compete with El Paso's 8.25 percent, with the new proposal it would end up at 16 percent, two times larger than the Sun City. The increase is part of the Economic Reform agenda of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Revolutionary Institutional Party or PRI.

Aside from the general tax increase this reform would also implement taxes on sugary drinks, dog food and housing.

"They see how the crisis is and they do this politicians are a bunch of liars they promise you everything first but betray you later," Juarez resident Ricardo Diaz said.

Many maquila workers decided to get out of work to protest the tax rate which is expected to affect the maquila industry in Juarez.

"We are here to oppose the reform because we get paid 600 pesos a week and if they take out more where will we end up?" Maquila worker Irma Garcia said.

Several opposition political movements are still gathering signatures and hope the senate rejects the bill while businessmen encourage people to speak out.

"Somehow this will also impact the region if people don't have work or jobs they will have a less quality of life the will impact El Paso also." Portillo concluded.

The maquila industry in Ciudad Juarez announced that no hirings will be made until the conflict in Mexico City ends.

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