Brazilian court ruling targets impact fees


Four years ago, Brazil’s leading business lobby asked the country’s Supreme Court to overturn a 2000 law establishing environmental-impact fees for industrial projects, levies that have promised to become a significant source of conservation funding here. Since the Supreme Court ruled on the case last month, however, the business association, the National Industrial Confederation (CNI), could be pardoned for wondering if its challenge might have backfired. In its decision, the Supreme Court removed parts of the statute. Most importantly, it ruled that government authorities cannot—as has been their practice—fix a minimum impact fee based on 0.5% of a project’s initial investment, saying this unfairly penalizes companies that spend on pollution control. However, the high court said impact fees are allowable if calculated... [Log in to read more]

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