- Greek “won’t pay” movement activist Stratos Daskarolou was recently sentenced to a 42-day prison term for refusing to pay road tolls. Supporters of Daskarolou rallied in Kalamata, and one supporter, Zoe Konstantopoulou, former speaker of the Hellenic Parliament, filmed herself driving from Athens to Kalamata, lifting the tollgates out of her way along the path.
- Filmmakers in Tamil Nadu have halted all film releases. They are protesting against the state’s refusal to lift a 10% entertainment tax in the wake of the launch of the new nationwide 28% goods and services tax. In a typical year, “Kollywood” puts out hundreds of films worth hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
- “Employees of the Internal Revenue Service are the target of a fast rising number of threats…”
- Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya, told vendors at Kongowea market to stop paying regional taxes. He also said he had instructed police not to act against tax resisters. From the looks of things, this is part of a feud between Kenyatta and political rival Ali Hassan Joho, governor of Mombasa.
- As I mentioned , disgraced credit reporting agency Equifax was untimely awarded a no-bid fraud prevention contract by the IRS. Howls of outrage ensued. Then the Equifax website was hacked, tricking visitors into installing malware. That was the excuse the IRS needed to back out of the contract.
- A columnist for the Dallas News created an #EverybodyFileAProtest campaign, encouraging people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to challenge their property tax assessment. He claims 40,000 more people than usual have filed protests so far this year. “The idea was to clog up the system so that appraisal districts would settle informally, either in person or online, with homeowners to avoid so many appeal hearings.”
- Widespread resistance to the “soda tax” in Cook County, Illinois, led the Board of Commissioners to repeal the two-month-old tax on a 15‒1 vote.
[A] significant number of residents of Cook County began buying their soda and other sweetened beverages of choice outside the city limits. Yes, you read that correctly. The passage of the Cook County Soda Tax spurred residents to go out of their way to make sure that they bought their sugary drinks in other counties. They basically began importing their own sugary drinks — thus depriving the County not only of revenues from the new Soda Tax but all other tax revenues from those sales (or other sales that might occur in conjunction with those sales) as well. And of course this also meant depriving Cook County businesses of their own revenues from those sales — with some retailers reporting overall beverage sales declines of up to 47%.
But more embarrassing yet for the County, sugar-addled tax protesters even began tweeting about it — posting pictures of their receipts from sugary drink purchases outside of Cook County (many of which were promptly picked up and retweeted by the more beverage industry organized forces pushing for retail).
- Jay A. Soled and James Alm suggest that the “tax gap,” between what the government thinks people should pay and what they actually pay, is going away. This for three reasons: diminishing use of cash is making transactions easier for the government to track; the databasification of everything is making it easier to surveil the population; and globalization & concentration means more people are employed by large firms, which shrinks the underground economy.