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Archive for October 28th, 2009

Soviet-Style Tax Collection Tactics in the Windy City. During the Cold War, Americans often would use dark humor to mock the totalitarian nature of the Soviet regime, and it was not uncommon to joke about children turning in their parents for anti-Soviet behavior in exchange for a pair of Western blue jeans. In the real world, of course, these things are not funny, and folks in places such as Cuba still live in fear that neighborhood informants will get them in trouble with the secret police. So it is particularly nauseating to see that the City of Chicago is encouraging some taxpayers to snitch on others:

Chicago and Cook County residents aren’t the only ones about to get shocking tax news; the city is debuting a “tax whistle-blower” plan that could turn neighbor against neighbor in Chicago’s business community. The folks at city hall will pay cash bounties to informants who turn in business tax cheats around the city. The reward would amount to some sort of percentage of the tax money that the city recovers. “It’s just another way of bringing people into compliance,” Revenue Department spokesman Ed Walsh told the Sun-Times .

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