Friday, February 23, 2007

Tax Competition

Apparently rock lengend (although I can't remember ever hearing of him) Johnny Hallyday plans to move to Switzerland to escape French tax rates (ahh, he's French; no wonder I've never heard of him).

Some French politicians are letting Hallyday have it for being a bad citizen who seeks to avoid his taxes by moving. Other French politicians sort of get it: people will gravitate to the lowest tax area, everything else being equal. That's the argument for having multiple taxing authorities. If you don't like the one you live under, you're free to move to another one. We've seen this happening with Californians moving to other states. This forces the taxing authorities to use their tax monies efficiently and keeps tax rates lower than the authority might like to.

One more point from this story I can't pass up:

Ségolène Royal, the Socialist party's presidential candidate, criticised the rock legend at her party's conference on Saturday, saying: "When you earn lots and lots of money, you must set an example and pay your taxes in France, the country that has welcomed you and made you a success."

Listen madam, I know nothing of Mr. Hallyday's career, but I seriously doubt that the nation of France did anything for him. Millions of French citizens obviously bought his records and went to his shows, thereby creating his success. By all means let's give credit for someone's success to people or entities that had nothing to do with it. (See my post on Chilton winning state.)

No comments: