Swiss Voters Rejected Lower Corporate Taxes

Swiss voters Sunday rejected a corporate taxes plan backed by the government and business.

Voters were swayed by concerns that the corporate taxes plan was too generous to corporations at the expense of individual taxpayers.  Most noteworthy, proponents of the plan said its rejection places Switzerland’s economy at risk.  Switzerland is home to global corporate giants including Nestlé SA, Swatch Group AG and UBS Group AG.

Polls had given the pro-government side a sizable lead in December.  However, the polls tightened ahead of Sunday’s vote.  This was due to opponents successfully cast the plan as a giveaway to business.

In Switzerland individual states, known as cantons, are allowed to strike deals with multinational companies that reduced their tax burden.  As a result, Switzerland has faced pressure from the European Union and other international institutions to get rid of the special deals.

Switzerland’s average corporate tax is around 21%.  This is lower than in other developed economies including the U.S., Germany and Japan.  This according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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