SÃO PAULO – The State Secretary for Planning, Mauro Ricardo, said this Tuesday, the 29th, that the São Paulo universities will have “compensated” if the tax package proposed by the governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB). The project would oblige educational institutions to transfer more than R $ 600 million to the State Treasury, in the government estimate, but the secretary promised an increase of approximately R $ 400 million in relation to what was spent by the three state universities in 2019. The idea is viewed with skepticism among university presidents, who see the proposal as a guarantee of cutting their reserves. Budgetary compensation, however, would only occur if the government met the collection target.
The secretary was summoned Legislative Assembly of São Paulo (Alesp) to defend the government package, which also proposes the extinction of state entities and the linear reduction of 20% in tax benefits. Mauro Ricardo said that the increase in transfer can only occur if the adjustment to the proposal is approved by the deputies. He conditioned the budget increase to a 20% reduction in the benefits granted in the Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS).
“We are going to put, in the 2021 budget, R $ 400 million more, in addition to what they (universities) spent in 2019, ”said the secretary. “But we will only be able to do this if, logically, there is a 20% reduction in tax benefits, because when the benefit is reduced and the revenue is increased, it is linked to universities and to Fapesp (São Paulo Research Foundation) ) ”.
The academic community is against the transfer of values to the single account of the São Paulo Treasury. The entities say that there is no real surplus in their accounts, as the amounts are already fully committed to research projects and other expenses since the beginning of the year. In addition, there has been a decrease in the transfer of resources over the years and universities have spent more than they raise.
“If the project is approved under the proposed terms, the reduction of university resources is liquid and certain, an accomplished fact. The projections for increasing the collection with PL 529 are forecasts, not facts, since the economic scenario is relatively uncertain for 2021 ”, says the rector of the São Paulo State UniversityUnesp) and president of the Council of Rectors (Cruesp), professor Sandro Roberto Valentini. “What will remain, if there is a reduction in university resources, will be an unprecedented measure of interference in a successful financial autonomy model, in force in the State of São Paulo since 1989, which has remained sustainable thanks to the surpluses that occurred throughout over the years and it is possible to face the crises of the collection of the ICMS. ”
In the Assembly, deputies were also skeptical about the promise that the bill will make management more efficient. The majority of parliamentarians criticized the extinction of entities
Deputy Barros Munhoz, former president of Alesp, mocked the proposal to transfer services from the Metropolitan Urban Transport Company (EMTU) for the São Paulo State Transport Agency (Artesp), which it considers inefficient. “Artesp is the greatest example in the history of humanity of an inefficient, absurd company, that company is disgusting”, said Munhoz, to applause.
The meeting took place under the sound of the horns of a demonstration by employees of entities at risk of extinction, which took place outside the Assembly.
Under discussion in the plenary of the House since Monday, 28, the project continues without consensus between the government base and independent deputies, who have been working to delay the discussion of the text. Only two and a half hours of discussion were completed in plenary – the mandatory minimum is a total of 6 hours. The opposition and other parliamentarians opposed to the package have stopped going to the plenary to deny the minimum quorum needed to sustain sessions.