Some international tax resistance news:
- There was an amusing scene last week when a hundred employees of Ecomouv, the quasi-private company responsble for collecting a new road tax in France, held a holiday party in Metz. Posing for a group photo in front of the company offices in their santa hats, they were mistaken for a demonstration of the anti-tax bonnets rouges (red caps) by local police, who quickly intervened.
- A bonnets rouges subgroup calling itself the “cash cows” showed up at the intermunicipal council of Saint-Brieuc to try to get some answers about their property taxes. Not getting the answers they were looking for, they shut down the council meeting.
- Another group of bonnets rouges blockaded a Swiss-French border crossing to protest a new obligation on those who live in France but work in Switzerland to contribute to the French public health system (before, such workers could choose to join either the French or Swiss programs).
- The destruction of traffic-ticket radar machines by the bonnets rouges seems to have had an effect. For the first year since these machines were installed, the machines issued fewer tickets than the year before. A hundred such machines were vandalized last month, including about half of those in Brittany.
- Stefano Valdegamberi, one of the founders of the Futuro Popolare party, is calling on Italians to join him in a no-risk form of tax resistance: the boycott of state-run lotteries and gambling facilities. “There is only one form of effective tax resistance where no risk is involved: the boycott of all paid games authorized by the State Monopoly.”
- Some regional councilors from the Northern League announced that they plan to redirect part of the municipal services taxes known as “tares” from the national government to regional bodies
- Joseph Graziani, head of an industrial union, threatened to lead a partial tax strike in January in which people would refuse to pay more than a certain “reasonable” tax threshold if the government refuses to meet certain demands, which include reducing taxes, replacing the quasi-private tax collection company Equitalia, and reducing the cost of government bureaucracy.
- Bloomberg published a good English-language introduciton to the guerrilla electricians who are reconnecting the power to households that have been cut off for not paying new taxes attached to their utility bills.
- Meanwhile, the Δεν Πληρώνω (Won’t Pay) movement continues to storm highway tollgates and wave drivers through.