A critical policy study on why introducing resource rent taxation in Norwegian salmon aquaculture failed
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMarine Policy. 2021, 131, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104692
In Norway, the world’s leader in salmon farming, the aquaculture industry has become a profitable business. Drawing on critical policy studies, this paper analyzes a recent proposal to introduce resource rent taxation on salmon aquaculture for distributing its superprofit for the public good. By mapping actors and positions in the debate, the paper sheds light on the social reasons that led to the proposal’s rejection. It is argued that three positions emerged. The positions differ along two axes: rent and which community would benefit. The first position argues that aquaculture profits derive from natural resources and belong to local communities and to the national community. The second position denies that these superprofits can be categorized as rent and highlights issues of competitiveness. The third position seeks to distribute revenues locally as compensation for facilitating aquaculture. Although the debate about resource rent taxation was launched to debate the public-private issue, it turned into a fundamental disagreement about who should receive rents between the coastal municipalities and the state. The privatization of extraordinary revenue from common natural resources was no longer the focus.