Zero Hedge had an interesting article today called In Italy, They’re Now Taxing Shadows.

This is one of those stories where you expect the headline to be a bit of an exaggeration. It wasn’t.

As Italian newspaper Leggo reports, store owners in Conegliano are now faced with the unfortunate (albeit comically absurd) proposition of paying taxes on shadows.

The rationale appears to go something like this: an awning casts a shadow on public property and therefore you must pay to use that property.

Tax on Breathing Next?

I pinged that article off Pater Tenebrarum at Acting Man. He lives in Austria. Pater responded …

They actually got that idea from Austria, where we have the so-called (put down the coffee) “air tax”. No, it’s not a tax on breathing just yet. But if you have a shop sign that “occupies airspace”, you must pay a tax for it!

In Vienna this is garnished additionally with the “subway levy”, which has to be paid regardless of whether one uses the subway or not. In fact, I think there is no government on the planet more inventive with regard to taxes, levies and imposts of all sorts.

Illinois Tax Proposals

Earlier today I noted Proposed Illinois Tax Hikes: Financial Transactions, Millionaires, Guns, Sweetened Beverages, Satellite Providers, Fireworks, Progressive Income

Additional tax-hike proposals are being thrown around without any idea of how much they might raise. State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, proposed a 3.75% tax on guns and gun parts.

When asked how much revenue it would raise, she said she didn’t know but thought “if we can get a good million or so, I’ll take it.

State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, recently said that “creative lawmakers can come up with many options for new revenue.” 

Creative Options

Let’s hope Lou Lang does not look at what’s happening in Italy or Austria, or proposed tax on shadows or even breathing will soon be on the way.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock