Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tax remittances

It was interesting to see Del. Jonathan Isechal's proposal to begin taxing remittances from Palau.

People have talked about using taxation as a penalty to keep money circulating locally for years, and I've always thought of it as unfair double taxation. States like Texas and Arizona explored the subject, but evidently backed down after predictably strong opposition by the Mexican government.

The Philippine government? Well, they seem to be doing some skimming on their end with a new tax.

Isechal's bill has some merit, just from the standpoint of policing possible criminal activity and funding the government's supervision. There are a lot of other noble goals stated in the bill, but it's obvious the real motive is revenue generation.

That's where I have a problem: "This will not impact majority of the citizens of the republic," Isechal said. Well, yeah, because by definition the people affected are not likely to be voters and can't fight back.

Ain't got nobody

A parallel came up a few days ago when I rhetorically asked on another blog why the local government hadn't raised the CNMI minimum wage above $3.05 an hour. Most people ignored the question, but one fellow said it was because the federal minimum here was $4.05 and nobody was affected.

Exactly. Nobody who is likely to vote fits into the many exceptions. That's the response I was fishing for, not because I expected any results, but just to provide an uncomfortable reminder.

And most people ignored the question.


Jeff said...

I have no first hand knowledge of this myself, but on my dive trips there I hung with some expats who'd been in Palau and they described extremely poor treatment for the Filipinos there -- far worse than anything I've heard of in Saipan.

The bill is an outrage, and I hope if they do enact it the Filipinos simply don't go there at all, which is a strong possibility.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Those expats were right, one big reason that I left Palau before my commitment ended. Not just Filipino but any nationality of contract employees were literally treated as 2nd class citizens. I've always advised persons who were contemplating going there under contract to rethink that position.

KAP said...

Speaking of uncomfortable reminders...

Lil' Hammerhead said...

The third world going to work in the third world. Never a good idea. That's been part of the problem here where guest workers are concerned.. we're only a step over the line from falling into that "third world" category.