IN SHORT

Slovak tax burden third lowest in EU

THE TAX burden in Slovakia in 2004 was the third lowest in the European Union, according to a comparison of the ratios between national tax revenues and gross domestic product (GDP) in EU member states.

The report by Eurostat, the EU's statistics bureau, found the ratio for Slovakia was 30.6 percent in 2004. According to Eurostat, Slovakia's ratio has been falling since 1998, when it stood at 37.1 percent.

Only Lithuania and Latvia had a lower tax burden, recording 28.7 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively. The EU's average tax burden in the same year was 40.7 percent, down from 42.7 percent in 1999, the highest level in the past decade, the SITA news agency wrote.

Among EU member states, the highest tax burden in 2004 was in Sweden, where the ratio was 51 percent. Denmark had the second-highest ratio at 49.9 percent, followed by Belgium (47.4 percent), France (45.3 percent), Finland (44.5 percent) and Austria (44.3 percent).

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