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IN SHORT BUSINESS

Ministry says no to lower taxes

THE NEW tax system launched in Slovakia in January has been filling the state coffers even better than the creators of the tax reform had hoped, the daily SME wrote.

Over the first seven months of 2004, the state collected Sk9.2 billion (€229 million) more in taxes than in 2003 and by the end of July the budget deficit still had not exceeded a quarter of the planned annual value.

Analysts say that the state should use the income to further reduce taxes, especially to push down the flat tax rate, which is currently at 19 percent.

They say that the state could now reduce the mandatory payments to social insurance funds.

However, the Finance Ministry remains reserved on the issue.

"Though the development is positive, it should not be overestimated," said Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš.

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