The Grand Council accepted on Tuesday a motion asking to lower the taxes of the Vaudois by five points from 2023. The UDC, the PLR and part of the Vert’liberals succeeded in having this text accepted by 72 yes, 53 no and 7 abstentions and to send it back to the Council of State. PS, Greens and radical left opposed a reduction which will benefit, according to them, especially to high incomes.
The text (“Concretely thank the taxpayers of Vaud by lowering taxes on natural persons by 5 points from 2023”) was fiercely debated in committee, before returning to the plenum. A majority of seven members recommended that this motion be considered. Four members invited to rank it.
When the motion was tabled last fall, the right had narrowly failed, by 68 votes to 67 and one abstention, to send this text directly to the government. Calmer than at the time, the debate of the day once again opposed two irreconcilable camps.
“We must give back our purchasing power to taxpayers”
On the right, UDC and PLR recalled the “sparkling financial health” of the canton and the particularly heavy tax pressure which weighs on taxpayers. “This motion will not make the Canton of Vaud a tax haven but a little less a tax hell”, wanted to summarize its author, UDC Philippe Jobin. It is also a question of aligning with the other cantons, he underlined.
“You have to give back your purchasing power to taxpayers, who currently need it with the rise in prices” linked to the war in Ukraine, pleaded the PLR Florence Gross. The canton has the means, she insisted.
An “unfair and cynical” motion
The left – PS, Greens and Together on the Left and POP – clearly opposed this tax cut which will mainly benefit the wealthiest households. “This motion is too targeted and only the rich will see a difference,” said Socialist group leader Jean Tschopp. “Populist, sycophant and aberrant motion that will benefit the super rich more than the middle class,” added Green MP Maurice Mischler vehemently.
According to the commission, it would mainly offer a call for air to taxpayers with an income between 100,000 and 200,000 francs. “This motion is iniquitous and cynical. It is the poorest who will pay proportionally the most taxes”, denounced Marc Vuilleumier (EP).
Still on the left, several elected officials recalled that around 160 million francs a year will be missing in the coffers. This money should rather come “to strengthen public service, social policy and energy transition”, said Hadrien Buclin (EP). “We must not deprive ourselves of financial leverage in the current context of urgent environmental challenges”, added Jean Tschopp.
The leader of the Green Liberals, Graziella Schaller, also felt that it was “not the time to touch on taxation with all the major challenges that await us”. She said she trusted the newly elected Council of State, which could propose a more progressive counter-project to this motion, recommending that her group abstain.
For his part, Finance Minister Pascal Broulis said that the government will examine the text very closely and include it in its tax roadmap. He recalled that the State had lowered taxes over the past ten years, in particular through increases in tax deductions, and that several reforms were underway or planned.
Above all, he advocated “fiscal stability”. “We will do a weighing of interest. Fiscal insecurity must be avoided […] with downward and upward yoyo effects”, he said, stressing that this was precisely the great strength of the canton.