Confaz (National Council for Finance Policy) today revoked the measure that established a single ICMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services) rate on diesel oil. It was priced at R$1,006.
Now, states are authorized to “use tax equalization instruments and take other measures”. The decision was published in the Official Gazette of the Union.
Last week, the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) André Mendonça determined that the ICMS rates on fuels must be the same throughout the country as of July 1st. The preliminary injunction indicates that the basis for calculating the tax for fuels is fixed by the average of prices practiced in the last 60 months.
Yesterday, attorneys general from 26 states and the Federal District filed a request with the STF (Federal Supreme Court) to suspend this determination.
The fuel price crisis is a pressure point in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), both because of the popular rejection it has caused and because of the internal tensions that have intensified. The moment also occurs in an election year, in which Bolsonaro will seek re-election.
At the beginning of the month, the federal government tried to circumvent the fuel crisis by announcing a PEC (Proposed Amendment to the Constitution) to zero ICMS and reimburse the states directly with what they would earn on top of the tax. Gasoline, ethanol, diesel and cooking gas will be affected.
Tensions at Petrobras
The Bolsonaro government mainly blames external factors, such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, for the rise in fuel prices. At the national level, much of the responsibility falls on the governors and Petrobras, according to the Chief Executive.
Constant criticism of Petrobras led to the resignation of the state-owned company’s president, José Mauro Coelho, on Monday (20). He was the third executive to command Petrobras under Bolsonaro.
According to the company, Coelho also left the position of member of the Board of Directors of the state-owned company. In addition to Bolsonaro himself, Coelho and Petrobras as a whole were targets of criticism from the Speaker of the House, Arthur Lira (PL).
The conflict with the governors was one of the main reasons for the new taxation of ICMS, since before the tax could be defined in each state.
State leaders, however, blame Bolsonaro for the rise in prices and, at the end of 2021, they froze the ICMS rate in an attempt to demonstrate that the value would continue to rise despite them.