Somoza’s foes in the business community talked about a tax boycott as their general strike to force him to resign lost support in Managua.
An estimated 90 per cent of the businesses in the capital reopened for the first time since the strike began , and the commercial district was packed with people. However, William Baez of the Nicaraguan Development Institute, one of the business associations backing the strike, claimed most shops outside Managua were still closed.
Public and private schools also reopened yesterday and no fighting was reported anywhere in the country.
Baez said the opposition is considering asking businesses and people to refuse to pay their annual income taxes due . He said the government is in a “difficult economic position” and very low on cash reserves, and that the central bank is considering a 20 per cent tax on all exports.
Virtually no import and sales taxes have been collected since the strike began .
A Tax Strike in the Last Months of the Somoza Regime in Nicaragua
From the diary of Nathaniel Morgan, for :
I told [the Duke of Gloucester] of my ancestors being fined for holding a meeting in Ross at the time of the Conventicle Act, and that they on being turned out of it sat in the streets to worship God, and that their goods were sold for such behavior. He asked me if such losses were made up to them. I said “not anything of the sort was done,” or to that effect. I told him then that I and my father had refused to pay the income tax on account of war, and had refused it on its first coming out, and withstood it 16 years, except when peace was declared, and that our goods were sold by auction to pay it. This seemed to excite his curiosity, and made a stand to hear further, on the steps above the engine, going down to the river; asking me if we got anything by that, meaning, was anything refunded by the Society for such suffering. I immediately replied: “Yes, peace of mind, which was worth all.” I told him I believed there was not six in the kingdom as had done so and that I myself had brought the subject many times before the Yearly Meeting in London, and could never be once well seconded or supported; this seemed to him a matter of surprise, saying, “Do you say you brought it forward, and no one seconded it?” I said, “Yes, few saw it from the same point of view.” I told him we had written the commissioners saying we would suffer loss of goods, fine, or imprisonment rather than pay it, it being specifically collected for war, and that if for any other purpose we would most willingly pay it, it being the most just mode of raising money, as had been adopted.
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