The Slovenia Times

Paper opposes unlimited term for tax office chiefs


Ljubljana - The business daily Finance disputes in Monday's commentary the provision in the government's draft income tax act that would reinstate unlimited tenure for the chiefs of local tax offices, arguing that this paves the way for "nepotism, corruption and the creation of parallel mechanisms" that are damaging to a young democracy.

The government argues that tax office directors deserve unlimited tenure because they are civil servants. "But in my opinion, the chief of the local tax office is much more than a bureaucrat who stamps applications. They have practically the same obligations as the director general of the Financial Administration (FURS), whose term is limited to five years," the paper says.

The term limit was introduced by the previous FURS director, Ivan Simič, who opposes the latest change on the grounds that tax office chiefs must be held to account every five years. "If you ask me, I'm surprised that the term limit was not introduced before 2022," the commentator says.

The paper similarly decries the elimination of a three-member panel who decide on the most demanding tax cases where the projected tax liability exceeds half a million euros, cases it says where the risks are highest if public officials have unlimited terms.

"We are returning to Yugoslavia under [Prime Minister Robert] Golob. The reasoning behind the changes - that they would improve the performance and effectiveness of the tax offices and protect the public interest - is outright grotesque.

"This is not the meritocracy that Golob brandished in the election campaign. No matter how professional, staff in a 'happy-as-a-clam' system will putrefy. This is not freedom. But, knowing the prime minister, I am not surprised," the paper concludes in the commentary FURS Tito.


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