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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3268/woman-arrested-over-96-cents/

Woman arrested over 96 cents

March 6, 2005 by

Here is another outrageous story of how far taxing bureaucrats will go to enforce taxes:

A woman was stunned and embarrassed when police arrested her Feb. 19 in front of her children. Her alleged offense: failure to appear in court on a charge of failure to file a 2001 city income tax form. She says she owed the city only 96 cents.

{ 7 comments }

bernard1 March 6, 2005 at 10:10 am

The Pravda published an article in the early eighties about breadlines in France. It was illustrated by a photograph of a long queue in front of a French bakery.

You ought to work for the Pravda.

McGroarty March 6, 2005 at 1:58 pm

While I expect I share your views on taxes, you do a disservice by playing semantic games. What needs to eb discussed is that a citizen can be arrested for failing to file. It’s not relevant how much she owed, or even whether she was due a refund.

roger March 6, 2005 at 2:50 pm

Just goes to show me that the federal gov, state govs and city govs only care about screwing people, period.

Paul D March 6, 2005 at 8:33 pm

“It’s not relevant how much she owed, or even whether she was due a refund.”

Of course it’s relevant. It’s an example of “guilty until proven innocent”. The fact that she didn’t in fact owe anything substantial is simply egg on the faces of those who thought she was a dangerous criminal deserving of arrest and detainment.

Since when in a free society does one have to file papers with the local thugs or lose one’s permission to live and be left alone?

Curt Howland March 7, 2005 at 10:21 am

Paul, it may be itself an absurd act on the part of the “officials”, but it is an excellent example.

Trying to make the point that all government action is backed up by the power to imprison or kill you is difficult. Too many people think that the worst that can happen to them is to be fined, to have to take a day off of work to go to traffic court, that sort of thing.

But if you do not pay the ticket, if you don’t show up to the court for that ticket, if you ignore the government at any level, they will eventually imprison or kill you. That is their only recourse, government is force.

Remember the set of Ginsu knives your grandmother got for $19.99 mail order? Did she trot on down to the local government office and pay the sales tax on it? If not, by now the fines, fees and interest are likely quite a sum.

Something to keep in mind.

NamedForRep.Ron March 7, 2005 at 6:42 pm

“…you do a disservice by playing semantic games…”

It isn’t a matter of semantics when a person is _arrested_ over this type of thing. (Keep in mind, their hands are bound and they are physically detained. Arrested.) Had a lien been placed on her home or something like that, it would have been dumb, but not as brutal as ARRESTING the woman.

commonreader March 8, 2005 at 2:00 am

There is another important aspect to this story. No civilized person separates a mother from her children over something so petty. Notice that the mother had to call her brother for childcare. If she hadn’t had someone available what would she have done? And notice that the woman arrested is not the only one affected – presumably her brother had something he would rather have been doing.

What if she had been a nursing mother of an infant? I assume the reporter would have made hay out of it if any of the children had in fact been babies, but I certainly don’t assume the arresting officer would have cared.

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