Government Revenues Up 27 Percent in First Nine Months

The government collected more than $1.4 billion in revenues during the first nine months of the year, a 27 percent increase over the same period last year, figures released Thursday by the Ministry of Economy and Finance show.

According to the Table of Government Financial Operations (TOFE), which tracks tax and non-tax revenue, as well as budget expenditures, the government collected $1.42 billion from January through September, compared to about $1.12 billion during the same period in 2011.

Roughly 83 percent of the domestic revenue was collected through taxes, including private and corporate income taxes, taxes on goods and services, and import and export duties. The remainder came from non-tax revenue, such as property income, rental income and the privatization of public assets.

Also included in the non-tax revenue are two categories of revenue that were not included in the last TOFE: “revenue from extractive industry” and “airport tax.”

While these categories have appeared and disappeared seemingly at random from TOFE reports over the past two years, neither classification lists any revenue collected since October 2010—the oldest TOFE available on the Finance Ministry’s website.

However, Cambodia imposes taxes on both the extractive industries and through its airports.

Cambodia’s Law on Taxation imposes a corporate income tax of 30 percent on profits obtained through the extraction of natural resources, such as mining and oil. The industry is also subject to taxes on salaries and rented property.

Likewise, Cambodia’s aviation regulator, the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), collects millions of dollars annually from a $1,000-per-landing royalty fee for almost every flight that lands at the Siem Reap International Airport. SSCA Secretary of State Mao Havanall said last month at the National Assembly that revenues collected from the airlines goes toward the national budget.

Kim Phalla, director of the economic policy department at the Ministry of Finance, which publishes the TOFE, said that he did not know why no revenue was listed under categories where it should appear.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure about this,” Mr. Phalla said.

SSCA officials also said they were not sure what would be considered as an “airport tax.”

“I don’t know about that,” said Srey Sophea, director of SSCA’s finance department. “Please contact the French people at the airport,” he said, referring to Cambodia Airports, the country’s national airport operator.

Khek Norinda, communications manager of Cambodia Airports, referred questions back to the Ministry of Finance.

(Additional reporting by Phorn Bopha)

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