Some tabs I’ve had open in recent days…
- The regional government of Catalonia continues to lay down the groundwork for independence from Spain. Recently, the Diputación de Barcelona, which governs multiple municipalities in the Barcelona area, has decided to pay the taxes withheld from its nearly 5,000 employees to the Catalan regional government rather than to Spain. A number of smaller local government bodies in Catalonia had already taken this step. Currently, the Catalan regional tax agency is forwarding such payments to the Spanish government, so this is mostly symbolic, but it is meant also to allow the Catalan regional government to withhold these payments at a later date when the time seems ripe for full independence.
- In Acapulco, businesses are petitioning the government to forgive their taxes on the grounds that the government is failing utterly to provide security and so they need the cash to pay protection money to organized crime groups.
- Jewlers in India have ended their 18-day strike which had been called to protest a new excise tax on gold sales. The government has suspended collection of the charge for sixty days pending the report from a committee that was formed to look into the jewlers’ grievances. The jewlers are estimated to have lost some $4.5 billion in sales during the strike. This is the third time the government has suspended the tax in response to protests.
- When Premlata Bhansali was caught on the metro without a ticket, she said she was fed up with high-rollers getting away with corruption. She refused to pay her fine, taking a seven-day jail term instead and “spent nearly 12 hours arguing with railway officials, demanding to know why they authorities were going soft on [corrupt politician and crony capitalist Vijay] Mallya and harassing the common man.”
- Americans apparently prefer Vladimir Putin to the Internal Revenue Service, but on the other hand 27% of us would be willing to get an IRS tattoo (if that would get us out of paying taxes). Almost 25% of Americans think there’s nothing wrong with earning money under the table and keeping the IRS in the dark.
- Meanwhile the number of U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenship continues to skyrocket. With all the people threatening to leave after the November elections, Mexico may find it has an incentive to build that wall after all.
- NWTRCC has caught the “divestment” bug, and is reminding activists that whether your target of choice is fossil fuel consumption, Israeli apartheid, or militarism, you can get the biggest bang for your buck by divesting from the Pentagon by refusing to pay war taxes.