Austria: financial transaction tax to start 2016

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — Austria's finance minister says 11 European Union countries have agreed to introduce a financial transaction tax from 2016 onward.

Michael Spindelegger says they will now work to overcome remaining practical hurdles to finalize the legislation by the end of this year.

The group — including Germany, France and Italy — is set to inform the 17 EU countries not participating at a finance ministers' meeting in Brussels Tuesday of the decision.

European officials started pushing for the tax following the 2008-09 financial crisis to curb speculation and claw back revenues after government bailouts of banks.

The levy's scope won't be as broad as supporters initially hoped, focusing on taxing stock and derivatives trading.

The EU estimates a broad levy could yield 30 billion euros ($42 billion) in annual tax revenues.