Be Like Sweden

That’s what the Progressive-Democrats say we should do, especially when it comes to taxes.  Here’s what the Swedish tax structure, that we’re supposed to emulate, looks like, pretty much straight from the horse’s mouth: Catherine Edwards, Europe Editor, for The Local, headquartered in Stockholm.

  • Property tax: virtually eliminated 10 years ago. Nationwide, property owners pay an annual tax of 0.75% of the property’s taxable value, capped at 7,412 kronor ($820).
  • Inheritance tax: abolished (not reduced to zero; this tax no longer exists) in 2005
  • Gift tax: abolished (not reduced to zero; this tax no longer exists) in 2005

Inheritance (estate) and gift taxes were eliminated by unanimous vote in Parliament

for reasons including improving conditions for running a business…, which will facilitate generational succession[.]
Taxes on inheritance and gifts…caused complications when the majority of an inherited estate’s value was tied up in a business or property, forcing many heirs to sell family homes or businesses to stump up the cash for the tax, in some cases leading to their bankruptcy.

Where have we heard that before?

On the matter of income tax, Sweden has a top national tax of 25% on income above 638,500 kronor ($70,400), with county and municipal tax rates running to and additional 11% and 21%, respectively.  A wage earner thus surrenders as much as 57% of his wages to the taxman—and he’s guaranteed to lose nearly a third of it to his local taxman.  On the table in Parliament, though, is a proposal to cut that national tax rate to 10%.

Oh, and Sweden has a corporate tax rate of 22%—which they’re also looking to lower further.

Understand, though: this is not an endorsement of the idea that we really should emulate the Swedish tax system (except for the inheritance and gift taxes part). It’s an indictment of the ignorance of the politicians of the Progressive-Democratic Party who demand high, and higher, taxes and use Sweden (among other nations) as justification (leaving aside the irrationality of the idea that one nation doing something makes it a good idea for other nations to do it, too).

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