In consecutive readings last night, the Chamber of Deputies approved the fiscal reform, passing the much-debated tax plan. The bill now moves to the Presidency for signing into law. Although the PRSC and PRD representatives absented themselves in protest against the reform, 91 of the 93 PLD legislators voted in favor. Only Pelegrin Castillo and Jose Ricardo Taveras of the National Progressive Force allied to the PLD voted against the reform. During the marathon meeting of the Chamber, the government austerity plan was also passed into law. The plan aims to reduce government spending, mainly on government members’ salaries. The new fiscal reform includes an additional RD$3 tax on diesel fuel, RD$5 on regular gasoline and a RD$5 reduction on premium. The reform also imposes a new tax on vehicles, for the “right to circulate”. Cars between 5 and 10 years old will pay a RD$3,000 tax, which will be adjusted yearly for inflation. Cars older than 10 years will pay an RD$1,500 tax. Sports betting parlors will be taxed by 20% and lottery houses will be taxed a yearly sum of RD$31,000, which will also be adjusted yearly for inflation. The lottery houses will also pay a 15% tax on winnings. Fees for permits for these types of establishments also will increase from RD$150,000 to RD$180,000 in Santo Domingo, and from RD$100,000 to RD$120,000 in other parts of the country. The fiscal reform also includes a 17% charge for the first vehicle license plate, a 16% tax on insurance services and a 0.15% tax on banking transactions. Alcohol will have a new ad-valorem tax of 15% and tobacco a 100% ad-valorem tax.