Personal income tax rates in the Dominican Republic in 2002 ranged from 15% to 25%. The personal exemption level was equal to 2.3 times the country's average income, and the threshold for the highest income tax bracket was 5.8 times the average income (in contrast to 1985 when the highest bracket was 73% and the threshold was 413.5 times the average income). Since January 1995 business income has been taxed at a flat rate of 25%. The main indirect tax is the Dominican Republic's value-added tax (VAT) introduced in January 1983 with a standard rate of 6%. In 2003, the standard VAT rate was 8% but the government was proposing an increase to 12% followed by an increase to 14%. Excise taxes are imposed on alcoholic beverages (25% to 45%), tobacco products (25% to 50%); non-alcoholic beverages, and petroleum products. There is also a technical education tax.