Published: March 22, 2008

An optimal pesticide tax would discriminate among the substances marketed according to their toxicity levels. Adopting such a tax in Mexico is the most efficient way to prepare for compliance with the future extension of the list of pesticides subject to phase-outs and elimination under international agreements. This article examines the implications of three different environmental tax options: a general 15% tax on all pesticides (compensating for their current exemption from the value-added tax), a differential tax of 15, 10, 5 or 0% based on toxicity levels; and a 10% tax focused on the most toxic substances currently authorized. Tax revenues should be used to restore human and ecosystem health and compensate for other types of damage as appropriate.

Download the article here