A man checks circuit breakers in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Generator owners: New tax is KO for sectorElectricity generator owners cannot afford to pay a new tax on their units that has been included in the 2019 budget, a spokesperson for a committee representing the owners told The Daily Star Monday. For example, someone with a 100 kVA generator would pay a tax of LL5 million a year.The committee represents 3,500 generator owners across Lebanon, who control about 7,000 generators.This means that a single 500 kVA generator would see the owner make LL36 million in profits a year.Khoury agreed that the new law might "not be very fair," given that it taxes generation capacity rather than profits. In other words, the owners will be paying a fee based on the sheer capacity of their generators, regardless of whether those generators are earning profits.Khoury said that before his decision was enacted, the generator sector was worth about $1.5 billion a year; generator owners took away some $800 million in profits.He projected that this year it would shrink to being worth some $1 billion, with just about $200 million in profits going to the owners.The committee spokesperson said that the generator owners would be open to other forms of taxation, such as a direct tax on profits -- 10 percent, say.
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