Wealthy Pay High Taxes (on What They Deign to Declare)

  • The rich already pay high tax rates. The tax code is already progressive. I hear this all the time from right- and neoliberal-leaning tax blogs and think tanks. This is usually followed by some graph or statistic showing that “the top” n% of taxpayers (by adjusted gross income or some other declared income measure) pay 90% of income taxes, or something like that: Q.E.D. But this is sleight-of-hand. To show that the tax rates are progressive isn’t enough. To make the case that the rich are paying “their share” of income taxes you have to also demonstrate that they are paying those rates on all of their income, not just on that portion of income they haven’t managed to shelter from taxation. So, in this regard, I was interested in this new paper on Tax Evasion and Inequality. It took advantage of a tax haven data leak, and existing records of tax audits in Scandinavia, to get a snapshot of how the very wealthy avoid having much of their assets subjected to taxation in the first place. They may pay high rates on what’s left over, but that isn’t the same as paying high rates in the first place. “[W]e find that the 0.01 percent richest households evade about 25 percent of their taxes. By contrast, tax evasion detected in stratified random tax audits is less than 5 percent throughout the distribution.”
  • There’s a new NWTRCC newsletter out. Content includes a recap of actions, some national and international war tax resistance notes, an obituary notice for resister Tom Shea, and a profile of resisters Howard Waitzkin and Mi Ra Lee.
  • The international grassroots campaign against traffic-ticket-generating radar cameras continues: new attacks in France and Germany.

From the “Liberation News Service” on :

Roxbury War Tax Gives Money to Three Community Groups

 — Twice a year the Roxbury War Tax Scholarship Fund (RWTSF) presents monetary awards to different local community and anti-war organizations. During a short ceremony in Boston at the end of , the RWTSF awarded $427 each to “Our Place to Grow”, a local day-care center; the New England Action Research (NEAR) of the American Friends Service Committee, and the Wounded Knee Information and Defense Fund in Cambridge.

This money represents the interest on a fund of over $66,500, held in escrow at the United Bank of Roxbury, accrued on the tax money withheld by 500 tax resisters.

Anyone wishing more information about the Roxbury War Tax Scholarship Fund should contact them at Box 174, MIT Branch PO, Cambridge, Mass, 02139


(Thanks to Susan Phillips for this short).