Theory and Impact
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Soocheol Lee, Kazuhiro Ueta, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 14: Effects and issues of the 2010 resource tax reform in Xinjiang
Resource taxation has received wide attention in recent years. Government intervention through tax policy instruments is well recognized as essential for optimal exploration of mineral reserves, the maximization of mineral rents, the maintenance of environmental standards, and the creation of incentives for reinvestment of mineral rents. Some industrialized countries have already imposed various kinds of resource tax on natural resources, such as a severance tax in the United States, a mining tax in Canada, and a mine products tax in Japan. China’s resource tax system was implemented in 1984 under the Draft Regulations on the Resource Tax. This system levies and collects a tax on enterprises and individuals in China engaged in the extraction of crude oil, natural gas, coal, and metallic and non-metallic products. However, systemic deficiencies in the resource tax system have become apparent as China has pursued its reform and opening-up policy and its economic conditions have changed (Zhang 2007; An & Jiang 2008; Fu 2012; Li and Du 2008; Wang 2010). Although the system was previously reformed in 1993 under the Provisional Regulations on the Resource Tax, the tax system has not been modified again during the past 20 years. Beginning in 2010, the government began a resource tax reform pilot program centered in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (hereinafter, ‘Xinjiang’ or ‘autonomous region’). Compared with other areas in China, the western regions possess more abundant resources but have relatively underdeveloped economies and weak financial bases.
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