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Old 10-23-2013, 12:01 PM   #21
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Most countries who tried at one point or another to tax wealth have given up on the concept. So experience has shown that it is a poor way to collect taxes.
+1. Taxing the crap out of those 'evil, wealthy, made-their-money-on-the-backs-of-the-poor' makes for a good sound bite and gets votes, but, as it has always been, the rich have too many options.

France is learning that right now. Remember the 'tax exiles' from the UK in the 60's and 70's?

Tiger moved from CA to FL for better tax treatment and Lebron decided to play for the Heat instead of paying NY taxes. Heck, half of the people I grew up with here in MA have moved 30 miles north to NH to dodge the tax man.

As an aside, the paper said that every game that the Cards play in Boston over the next week(s) they will have to pay about $40K collectively in income tax.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #22
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Didn't the UK do that after WWII, thereby causing landowners to sell off the ancestral estates and homes? Or try to open them as museums hopefully to bring in enough pounds to pay the inland revenue?
The UK has never had a wealth tax apart from 1696 when they did pass the infamous window tax where the variable part of property taxes depended on the number of windows a house had. Many owners bricked up some of their windows to cut down on taxes and you can still this in many old houses in the UK today.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:40 PM   #23
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The UK has never had a wealth tax apart from 1696 when they did pass the infamous window tax where the variable part of property taxes depended on the number of windows a house had. Many owners bricked up some of their windows to cut down on taxes and you can still this in many old houses in the UK today.
What about the Domesday book? Wasn't that used as sort of a wealth tax source?
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:53 PM   #24
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What about the Domesday book? Wasn't that used as sort of a wealth tax source?
Not that I'm aware, it was a means to asses the amount of land and property held by the landowners, on which property taxes were due.

Like many countries the UK has imposed taxes on property so the more property you own the more tax you pay, but this is not the wealth tax that is being discussed here.

If you can find a source that shows that the UK ever had a wealth tax then I'll be interested it. I don't believe folks listed in the Doomsday Book had a tax placed on them for the amount of precious metals and gems they held.

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Although these can by no means be reconciled in every detail, it is now generally recognised that the primary object of the survey was to ascertain and record the fiscal rights of the king. These were mainly:
  • the national land-tax (geldum), paid on a fixed assessment,
  • certain miscellaneous dues, and
  • the proceeds of the crown lands.
Domesday Book - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Some European countries have abandoned this kind of tax in the recent years: Austria, Denmark (1995), Germany (1997), Sweden (2007), and Spain (2008). In January 2006, wealth tax was abolished in Finland, Iceland (but temporarily reintroduced in 2010) and Luxembourg. In other countries, like Belgium and the United Kingdom, no tax of this type has ever existed
Wealth tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #25
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Ah ok, I thought it included things like livestock and such....back when the barter system was more in use. I will defer to history though and agree that the UK has never had a wealth tax.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:15 PM   #26
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The fact is that the public debt is increasing, and it will have to be paid someday, somehow.

Wealth tax may not work, but is there an equivalent way? For example, benefits such as SS and Medicare can be means tested, which are now already there in the form of taxes or higher premiums. The effect is that the middle to upper middle class retirees will get taxed more, while the upper class who do not really need these benefits are not affected. Well, the upper class will get taxed more too via direct income tax but, as France is finding out, there are just not enough of them, and France is reaching down to people of less means than the multimillionaires.

See: Down and out: the French flee a nation in despair.

This is another reason I am not too thrilled about the current healthcare subsidy. Unless we know to control costs, just looking for someone else to foot the bills simply delays the inevitable issue: there's no more money where that came from.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:24 PM   #27
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"Well, instead of working my @$$ off and living below my means, I'm gonna work maybe 20-25 hours a week, get earned income credits since I don't earn much, collect food stamps, get healthcare for nearly free with the subsidies, and maybe even get a government phone and internet thrown in for free."
Did you read about the man described in this thread: The way to ER immediately?
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:07 PM   #28
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I definitely think that a wealth tax is the wrong way to go for our country. Although I haven't seen much discussion on it in the past two or three years, I think the FairTax would be the way to go. Completely eliminate the Federal Income Tax system and replace it with a national sales tax. Everybody pays based on the amount of their consumption each year. I don't think it would help me personally since I hope to FIRE within a few years and dramatically reduce my income, but I still think it's a better and fairer way of raising the revenue needed to run the country.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:09 PM   #29
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I'd like to see some forms of wealth taxed more heavily, real estate for example. Easy to do and folks are getting a huge bargain today on their McMansions and estate size properties.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:17 PM   #30
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I wonder what percentage of Americans believe that capital formation should be restricted. We are led to believe that the number is greater than half but I just can't grasp that.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:23 PM   #31
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I think the gov't would love to tax wealth, but it would be tougher to administer than income tax. The value of some investments, ie real estate, private businesses, etc are subjective, and the gov't would spend a lot of $ trying to figure out everyone's worth. My guess is that they'll just increase income tax rates when they want more money.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:23 PM   #32
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I'd like to see some forms of wealth taxed more heavily, real estate for example. Easy to do and folks are getting a huge bargain today on their McMansions and estate size properties.
I'd rather see a tax on things that cost us as a society. Like children. Someone's real estate or stock holdings don't cost anyone a dime but rather enhance the economy.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:28 PM   #33
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I'd rather see a tax on things that cost us as a society. Like children. Someone's real estate or stock holdings don't cost anyone a dime but rather enhance the economy.
You don't think that children, a.k.a. future consumers, workers, investors, etc... enhance the economy?
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:30 PM   #34
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I'd rather see a tax on things that cost us as a society. Like children. Someone's real estate or stock holdings don't cost anyone a dime but rather enhance the economy.
If you want to tax something that is really costing us as a society, tax voters. Look at what they are putting into office and what they are doing to us!

Yeah, a poll tax...
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:31 PM   #35
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You don't think that children, a.k.a. future consumers, workers, investors, etc... enhance the economy?
We can import workers.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:34 PM   #36
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And pets. I'd tax the crap out of pets.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:36 PM   #37
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Someone's real estate or stock holdings don't cost anyone a dime but rather enhance the economy.
The same argument could be made about income.

Hey, if you hold significant real wealth and can't generate enough income from it to pay taxes on both the income and on the property, you need to sell the property to someone who can.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #38
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The same argument could be made about income.

Hey, if you hold significant real wealth and can't generate enough income from it to pay taxes on both the income and on the property, you need to sell the property to someone who can.
Good point. Let's stop taxing income. Makes no sense.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:39 PM   #39
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I'd rather see a tax on things that cost us as a society. Like children. Someone's real estate or stock holdings don't cost anyone a dime but rather enhance the economy.
Cats and dogs, I tell you. Why do they get all the fun and not have to pay their fair share in taxes? And don't get me started on robins--why should they get free worms?
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #40
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And pets. I'd tax the crap out of pets.
Some are taxed locally here. I guess the fed give's em a pass.

But the houses they live in with their owners....... Need more tax there! A local real estate tax and then a fed surcharge on top of that.

It would be easy to execute. On your 1040 you state the amount of property tax you pay, then you mulitply that by 20% (or whatever) and add that amount to your fed tax bill.

Or, even simpler, just eliminate real estate taxes as an itemized deduction.

Da feds could tap into local accessors records to keep the dishonest somewhat honest.
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