September 12, 2017 / 7:34 PM / 10 months ago

Brazil's lower house could vote on tax renegotiation on Wednesday -speaker

BRASILIA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia said lawmakers could vote as early as Wednesday on a tax renegotiation program seen as key to help President Michel Temer’s government meet a budget deficit target for this year.

Policymakers aim to raise up to 13 billion reais ($4.2 billion) this year through the program known as Refis, which offers incentives for taxpayers to repay overdue debts in monthly installments. A congressional committee, however, substantially changed the proposal in July, cutting collection estimates below the 1 billion-real mark.

“We’re close to reaching a deal”, Maia told reporters in Brasilia. A vote could “happen this week or tomorrow.”

Legislators and policymakers in Temer’s economic team have struggled to find common ground on Refis to have it voted by early October, when the executive decree governing it expires. Brazil targets a budget gap of 159 billion reais for this year.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles earlier on Tuesday said he expected to receive a revised Refis proposal from lawmakers as soon as Wednesday.

$1 = 3.1341 reais Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Diane Craft

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