More than one in three companies have committed tax code offenses over the first half of the year, which explains why budget revenue is significantly below target although retail sales have risen by 8.5 percent. The extensive tax evasion was confirmed by Economy Ministry inspectors: After 23,256 checks from January to June, they had recorded 8,545 companies with tax violations, who will now face hefty fines. Top offenders in tax evasion are construction companies, travel agencies and car mechanics, according to the Special Investigations Service (SIS). About 53 percent of car shops, 50 percent of travel agencies and 44 percent of construction companies apparently committed tax offenses. Checks will intensify over the touristic period, with SIS aiming to inspect some 36,000 tourism enterprises. Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis announced that price controls and inspections will intensify at Greek ports and on ships at sea by the port police to combat profiteering and tax evasion. The Central Port Authority of Piraeus has considerably increased its price inspections since last year, conducting 74 checks and confirming 21 violations in June. Gross revenues of corporations rose by 13.6 percent in 2004 year-on-year, paying an average of 103,548 euros in taxes, compared with 91,448 euros paid in 2003.