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Jamaica: “Temporary” Tax Hike for 34 Years at Least

(Feb. 2, 2008) In 1974, at the time of the first "oil shock," Japan's Diet (parliament) passed a law to amend the Tax Special Measures Law (Law No. 26 of 1957, as amended by Law No. 17 of 1974). The amendment added an increased gasoline tax rate for two years. Since then, the term has been extended every time it is reviewed, and the rate has never gone down, instead going up. That tax rate is a factor in the high gasoline prices in Japan. The current Diet has been called the "gasoline Diet." The opposing party, which gained a lot of upper house seats in the last election, decided to attack this "temporary" tax hike. The Cabinet submitted a bill to renew the term of this additional tax rate on February 23, 2008. If the bill does not pass and is not promulgated by March 31, the tax rate for gasoline in Japan will be half of the current rate, until the Cabinet and ruling party do pass the bill. (Kihatsuyu zantei zeiritsu iji no hôan o kakugi kettei [Cabinet Approval of Bill to Keep Temporary Gasoline Tax Rate], YOMIURI ONLINE, Jan. 23, 2008 (copy on file with author); Takezumi Ban, Zantei zeiritsu hi gire de gasorin ga 25 en yasuku naru hi [The Day Gasoline Prices Will Be Cheaper by 25 Yen], YOROZUBANPO, Jan. 14, 2008.)