Norway’s Aquaculture Fund gives back taxed earnings from its most prized export.
The Norwegian government is currently issuing a list of municipalities to receive funds from the Aquaculture Fund. “The salmon money in this way gives significant income to many coastal municipalities,” said Seafood Norway CEO, Geir Ove Ystmark.
The Aquaculture Fund was established in 2016, and the first payment was made in 2017 from the salmon farming industry was a total of EUR 6.1 million. 70 % of its funds go straight to municipalities, ten per cent to county municipalities and 20 per cent goes to the state.
“This year county councils receive almost NOK 400 million (EUR 41 million) from the fund, in other words, a total payment of more than NOK 2.7 billion (EUR 237 million)” Seafood Norway wrote in a press release.
This is the second time there has been a payment to coastal communities and county municipalities after the establishment of the Aquaculture Fund. The Norwegian parliament has adopted the scheme to ensures that the coastal municipalities that facilitate aquaculture also benefit from significant revenues when salmon companies pay to increase production. The authorities add up to the sale of increased license volume every two years.
“The seafood industry wants strong and robust local communities, and the Aquaculture Fund now shows that the municipalities will receive cash as promised. This also shows that it is not necessary to introduce new special taxes on aquaculture companies, ” said Ystmark.
Last week, the government appointed a new committee to investigate the introduction of such special tax on the important district industry. Following Seafood Norway’s view, the committee has received a detailed mandate that, to a small extent, focuses on the development opportunities for aquaculture and negative effects of further taxation of such an important district industry.
A possible new state special tax may benefit the aquaculture municipalities by reducing revenue to the treasury bill. Seafood Norway is very skeptical about the introduction of such a tax, and has pointed out that parliament ordered a much wider mandate.
“The municipalities and the business community along the coast must be aware that the Aquaculture Fund is also being evaluated in this committee. Thus, uncertainty has arisen if the fund is to be continued,” Ystmark pointed out.
He emphasized that the aquaculture industry supported a continuation of the fund and believes it is a good scheme for both aquaculture and business community along the coast.