It’s time for another ’round the world tax resistance round-up:
Gerhard Höller’s tax resistance in protest against government spending priorities (see ♇ ) seems to have struck a nerve.
- Ralf Hillebrand and Angelika Wienerroither debate the wisdom of Höller’s stand.
- Another article quotes some other businesspeople who support Höller’s action, and says that Höller plans to set up some sort of web platform to organize a broader tax strike.
- I think the web platform in question is 1414: Der Steuer Streik.
Whether from inability or unwillingness to pay, some 2.6 million Greeks are behind on their income taxes — and that’s out of a population of about 11 million, which includes children.
Attorney Michael Paraskeva has started refusing to pay his social security contributions in protest against the government’s decision to raid the social security fund to satisfy government debts. He hopes his stand will help build a civil disobedience movement. One supporter explained: “I have not paid social security . I am a victim, not a perpetrator, of the economic crisis and I’m being made to pay for those who brought it about.”
Anti-austerity demonstrators occupied a tax office in Dublin, shutting it down for a period of time during property tax paying season.
The Republic of Venice?
The milder voices among them have started collecting commitments from taxpayers to begin refusing to pay taxes to Italy once a critical threshold of commitments has been signed. Once that threshold is reached, they will begin resisting taxes in earnest, in the hopes that their numbers will protect them from government retaliation at that point.
The less patient wing, which includes the delegates who were elected to launch the new Republic, have, as one of their first acts, enacted a “decree of total tax exemption,” freeing Venetians from their tax obligations until the tax collecting institutions of the new Republic are up and running. Gianluca Busato, one of the drivers behind the initiative, has gone so far as to say that “The payment of taxes to foreign governments [e.g. Italy’s], as well as immoral, it’s illegal.”
Meanwhile, a bit south of Venice, in Ferrara, businesswoman Alessandra Marazzi raised a bit of a stir by launching a tax strike recently. She got an outpouring of support from other small business owners who say that they have to choose between taxes and solvency, and that the government takes far more than it gives in return.