Tax on individual income as of 1 January 1996 ranged from 25% to 40%. The corporate income tax rate was 40% but companies that improve the national trade position receive special tax rates and exemptions. Other taxes were levied on insurance premiums, property transfers, land value, bank assets, and rental income. A value-added tax (VAT) was instituted in 1997, that is levied at 15% generally, and 7.5% on hotel accommodations. Basic commodities are exempt.