The year that has just come to an end bordered on the unsustainable, according to the members of the National Federation of Furniture Stores – Federmobili · Confcommercio Imprese per l’Italia. The figures for the last five years of recession, for the overall wood-furnishings production and supply chain, tell the story: a reduction of 14 billion euros in sales, a drop of 52,000 jobs, and a 40% slump in domestic consumption. Tradesmen in the furnishings sector, with an average sales slump of 30% in 2012, are left with a tax burden that seriously threatens to close more businesses. The “last straw” could come in April 2013 with the first installment of the Tares, the new municipal tax on refuse and services, which this year will take the place of Tarsu and Tia. According to the calculations of the Confcommercio research center, in 2013 the taxes paid for refuse by companies will increase, on the average, by 290%, with increases of over 400% for certain types of businesses. “The taxes and fees imposed on our companies – says Mauro Tambelli, National President of Federmobili – are causing the collapse of entrepreneurs in our sector. The introduction of the Tares, IMU and other rising taxes that do not depend on sales or profits of companies are not sustainable. We understand that for the Revenue Service an increase of 3.8% in the first 11 months of 2012 is an excellent result, but we cannot refrain from emphasizing that the increase in revenues is due above all to the introduction of IMU and that the positive result has been balanced out by a drip in IVA revenue, in the same period, of 1.8%. This has happened even though the IVA tax was raised by one percentage point last year, with a devastating effect on consumption (above all for semi-durable goods like furniture). The municipalities, in the calculation of the Tares –President Tambelli continues – should consider the fact that the large spaces where work activities take place, as in our case, are not directly correlated with a larger production of refuse. A commercial business that sells furniture is already subject to the costs of separation of packing and other types of refuse, and as a result what actually ends up in the wastebasket is the refuse produced by everyday activities that take place only in the office spaces. Therefore the tax should be applied only to those square meters. We are asking –Tambelli concludes – for political intervention to save our sector from a looming catastrophe. In December we forcefully renewed our appeal to the government (together with FederlegnoArredo, Confartigianato Legno Arredo, CNA Produzione, Ance and the unions FENEAL UIL, FILCA CISL, FILLEA CGIL), making a proposal that would guarantee a national increase in furniture consumption equal to over 1 billion euros in the first half of 2013, with evident benefits for many other sectors: extension of the income tax deduction of 50% of furnishings for homes that have been renovated. Were this measure enacted, it would ensure a rebound in consumption in one of the vital sectors of Made in Italy, saving tens of thousands of jobs, without any increased costs for the State. Finally, I call on all businessmen in our sector to take part, to make their voices heard, on Monday 28 January 2013 at the “National Mobilization Day” organized by Rete Imprese per l’Italia – Confcommercio.” www.federmobili.com.