China to tax chopsticks, yachts

From AP via the Sun Sentinel (link):



China announced plans to increase existing sales taxes and impose new ones on goods ranging from disposable wooden chopsticks to luxury items such as yachts, in an effort to protect the environment and offset the widening gap between rich and poor.

The Finance Ministry announced the change in policy Tuesday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. The new taxes take effect April 1.

The 5 percent taxes on disposable wooden chopsticks and on wooden floor panels are intended to discourage consumption of items that are blamed for wasting scarce timber resources. China makes about 15 billion pairs of throwaway chopsticks a year, consuming some 71 million cubic feet of wood, the report said.

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