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“Furusato Nōzei” Donations Hit Another Record in Fiscal 2016 (News)

Tokyo, July 4 (Jiji Press)—The total amount of money contributed under the furusato nōzei hometown donation system in Japan in fiscal 2016 grew 70% from the previous year to ¥284.4 billion, setting a record high for the fourth straight year, the internal affairs ministry said Tuesday. The growth was mainly due to the attractive gifts donors receive from local governments in return for their don…

Gifts for Donations: Winners and Losers in “Hometown Tax” Program

The furusato nōzei (hometown tax payment) program began in 2008 as a way for small regional communities to earn extra revenue through donations from former residents, collected in the form of tax payments earmarked for the regional governments by the taxpayers themselves. It became wildly popular, and in fiscal 2015 donations ballooned to ¥165.2 billion, or 4.3 times the amount for the previous ye…

Confronting Japan’s Unpleasant Fiscal ArithmeticKobayashi Keiichirō

The Japanese government has faced stiff resistance to planned increases in the consumption tax, the first of which was implemented on April 1. But according to recent calculations, even the 10% rate scheduled for 2015 pales beside the revenue increases needed to avert a financial meltdown over the next few decades. Keiō University economist Kobayashi Keiichirō reviews this “unpleasant arithmetic” and urges the government to plan accordingly.

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