Mexico Lower House OKs revised government tax plan

MEXICO CITY Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:45pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Lower House of Congress on Thursday gave general approval to a revised government tax plan that aims to boost receipts by nearly 3 percent of GDP by 2018.

The bill was revised on Wednesday to raise the top income tax rate on a sliding scale to 35 percent, impose a 5 percent tax on junk food and roll back plans to apply sales tax on rents, mortgages, property sales and school fees.

Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said earlier on Thursday the revisions would leave the government with a revenue shortfall of 55.7 billion pesos ($4.4 billion), which the government is expected to seek to plug by raising its oil revenue forecast.

The bill must still be passed by the Senate, which is expected to approve the reform by the start of November. The bill is tied to the 2014 budget, which must be signed off by mid-November.

(Reporting by Miguel Gutierrez; Editing by Simon Gardner)

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