This Thursday, the freeze on the fuel tax expires, which has not been updated since 2021, and the Government is evaluating how to apply this increase due to the impact it will have on prices at the pump and even on the inflation rates for February. .
The fuel tax was created by Law 23,966, passed in 1998, with the objective of financing housing and infrastructure funds throughout the country. These are, in reality, two taxes, the Tax on Liquid Fuels and the tax on Carbon dioxide, and impose fixed amounts that are updated based on the variation of the Consumer Price Index measured by the INDEC every three months. .
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Until the closing of this note, the Ministry of Economy assured that they were closing the details of the update of these taxes, especially due to the impact it may have on fuel values, which since Javier Milei's government took office began a process of updating their prices that were delayed due to the different agreements sealed with previous administrations.
Gasoline increases again in February.
According to sector leaders, if the Executive decides to update the tax, the impact would be around an additional 11% on current prices. Until now, a liter of super gasoline at YPF in the City of Buenos Aires is sold at $699 per liter, while Infinia gasoline is $862 per liter.
Likewise, fuels are one of the key components that can add more pressure to the inflation indicators for February, at which time the Government expects the Consumer Price Index to show a considerable reduction in relation to the 25.5% in December. .
What happened in the last three years with the fuel tax
The Government made the decision to suspend the application of the tax from the first quarter of 2021 to avoid a systematic increase in fuel prices in an inflationary context.
However, this determination was extended in time and the last official provision in this regard – which was published in November 2023 – established that the freeze would remain in force until February 1, 2024.
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“The freeze in fuel taxes is a measure that implies that the State resigns the collection of these taxes to achieve better competitiveness in prices and avoid higher costs for citizens,” the Executive justified in that last decision that was published in the Official Gazette.
In this way, the Government can “not renew” this freeze, which will result in an increase in gasoline prices, since the tax component is usually automatically transferred to the prices.