The Congressman for the State of Bahia, who posted the interview on his social network accounts, said that imposing a Temporary Contribution on Financial Transactions (CPMF as per Portuguese acronym) once again would not help raise revenue for the nation and would not provide relief for corporations and taxpayers.
"As a member of the Congress Committee on Tax Reform, I stand up for a proposal that eases the current tax burden on companies and individual taxpayers. We have one of the highest tax rates in the world. Controlling our borders and legalizing gambling in Brazil are two proposals I believe could help raise tax revenue for the nation and at the same time, reduce the amount of taxes citizens would have to pay. Bringing the CPMF back won’t offer relief to corporations and taxpayers."
According to the Congressman, legalized gambling in Brazil would generate R$ 60,000 million a year, which would translate into tax collection for municipalities, states, and the federal government in the amount of R$ 20,000 million.
"If we introduce a new revenue source, then we will be able to reduce the current tax burden on companies. How do we accomplish that? Through legalized gambling," Coronel explained. He revealed that he discussed this proposal with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, who described it as 'bold'.
As regards the opposition of the 'Evangelical Bench' [a cross-party group of evangelical legislators], Coronel urged lawmakers to "abandon sectarian stances and to think about what is best for Brazil."
"The Evangelical Bench is against legalized gambling, but I would respond as follows: If churches want income tax forgiveness, they should compromise and sometimes leave religion aside when discussing these types of measures aimed at providing relief for Brazilian taxpayers. We have to promote a tax reform that offers relief and eases the tax burden on citizens, not like the proposal the National Congress is currently discussing," he added.
When asked about an agreement between the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies —the Brazilian Congress’ lower house— towards a comprehensive proposal to legalize gambling, he pointed out:
"There is a Chamber of Deputies’ bill currently being discussed as well as a Senate proposal submitted by Senator Ciro Nogueira. These proposals have not been left out but rather 'filed away.' The crucial issue here is that many people want to legalize gambling in an attempt to attract casinos. I am in favor of legalizing jogo do bicho (an illegal lottery-like game popular in Brazil), slot machines, and bingo halls because they also generate jobs and revenue. The operators of these activities want to legalize them and pay taxes, and that is a big deal."
The Senator announced that he has prepared a report for the Committee on Regional Development and Tourism, which is attached to Bill 2648/2019, a proposal submitted by Senator Roberto Rocha to legalize Integrated Resorts throughout the national territory.