In its justification for the resource rent tax, the government argues that the community should receive a fair share of the value created by the utilization of the community's natural resources. The odd thing about the justification is that the natural resources that are utilized – production areas in the coastal zone – have little or no alternative economic value. The fish farmers do not consume the community's natural resources. They invest to develop the fish they sell, and they bear the operational and investment risks themselves. The fish farmers are indeed allowed to establish their business in the community's sea areas, but they do not extract a natural resource that is already there, as is done, for example, in the petroleum industry.
Rather, the government's main motivation seems to be that the fish farming industry receives large profits that can be taxed at a high rate because the businesses are local, and therefore cannot move out of Norway. Therefore, we believe the resource rent tax can be called what it really is, namely a new salmon tax.
If one takes into account the state's increased income from, among other things, the petroleum sector, it is difficult to see that the salmon tax is necessary to balance the national budget. Hence, it is reasonable to believe that the primary objective is to ensure redistribution.
It is easy to draw analogies to Robin Hood, who took from the rich and gave to the poor. But the analogy doesn't quite fit. In contrast to Robin Hood, who took from the rich's abundance of funds for their own consumption, the government takes from businesses that contribute to creating good living conditions in the coastal communities. With the salmon tax, the state takes a larger share of the profit from an industry that has added great value to the districts without transfers from the state. As several have already pointed out, it can therefore be said that the proposal for a new salmon tax entails a form of transfer from the districts to the cities.