OK, Cyprus is going to slap a tax on bank accounts over $100,000.
The world is aghast. The end of financial systems as we know them is in the balance.
It’s not the first time that a government – think, U.S. government — has seized (oops, I meant “taxed”) private assets
Here are a couple of examples from close to home …
Remember the estate tax?
What exactly does it tax?
You guessed it: ASSETS.
And, just like the Cypriot plan, it has some social acceptance because it nails the big guys.
What about real estate taxes?
Again, a tax based on the value of assets.
Broadly supported – even though it’s applied to a broad base — because it seems to support good causes – like schools and first-responders.
What about personal property taxes?
Here in Virginia we still pay a state tax based on the value of cars owned,
That’s an asset based tax.
What about business inventory taxes?
The NCAAs were over-run with ads for every auto dealer’s inventory clearance sale intended to duck the state’s Vehicle Inventory Tax.
What about capital gains taxes?
Yeah, yeah, yeah … the tax is on “income” not assets.
Aren’t capital gains similar to accrued bank interest?
And, I didn’t even open the eminent domain can of worms.
Bottom line: Look closer to home before pointing fingers at the whacky Cypriots.