Thursday, June 9, 2005

Pre-emptive taxation

The relationship between taxation and representation has become so blurred that it's apparently been replaced by confusing taxation and extortion. From the CBC:

The owners of a restaurant and pub in Victoria by the Sea [Prince Edward Island] have been asked to pay the province $24,000 in anticipated sales tax before serving a single meal or pouring a pint.

[… Steven] Hunter and [Mike] Storey have used their own money to set up shop on the Victoria wharf. And they have been able to avoid taking out a loan to help start their business.

Hunter can't understand why government thinks he and his partner would run off with sales tax money.

The provincial government figures, based on projected sales, the PST for this summer will be $24,000. And it wants the money before any business takes place.

[…] Provincial Tax Commissioner Jim Ramsey said taxpayers lose $2 million a year when businesses go under. He said new businesses that are considered high risk are asked to pay up front, and the policy is paying off.
Taxes aren't quite the same thing as purchases — the non-voluntary nature is the giveaway — but there is, or should be, a similar expectation of receiving desired goods or services for money spent. What are the chances I could ask for state services to be provided based on my projected need up front, in case of a change in government or legislation, and pay later? Not much, when taxes are considered to be the right and property of government and not the extortees. "Consumer protection" in debt-ridden PEI means the government is the consumer. Similarly proactive "guilty-before-proven-innocent" regulation has usually been effected by an external and supposedly disinterested party possessing the implements of force to alter and distort the voluntary exchanges between the parties of seller and buyer. Kind of rough to sustain the notion of objective impartial fairness when the "disinterested" arbiter assumes the role of one of the parties at the same time.


1 Comment:

basil said...

This is extortion.