UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 25, 301 AP.

President unveils "revolutionary" legislation

President Okarvits tonight unveiled a revolutionary piece of tax legislation,
enabling the existance of cooperatives who share out their collective income
and will be taxed according to the income per person.

President Okarvits told the crowd of supporters and MPs, that when the Reserve
Bank told him that the average Utani grain farming community was paying Û57,451
in taxes on their Û461 per person per year income, that the federal and state
governments were earning Û304 million in taxes off the poorest Utanians of all,
he knew he was doing the right thing. This was about common decency in

"This piece of legislation", he told the assembled eleven hundred people at a
Û110 a head fundraising dinner, "is about saving those farmers fifty seven
thousand punds in taxes that they should not be paying!" The audience applauded
enthusiastically, as the President's booming voice echoed across the hundred-
table ballroom.

"If this government was elected on one platform, it was on the platform of
fairness and equitable opportunity for all Utanians", he told the crowd, who
applauded this statement. "We have identified an area where the poorest are
taxed as though they are the wealthiest, and this cannot be tolerated. The
solution is the 'Cooperative Law', a proposed piece of legislation that I will
present to the Parliament when they return from interim elections. It will
revolutionise the Utanian inherited tax system, and provide a means by which
the poorest in this country will pay no taxes!"

How it works
President Okarvits' scheme is simple, he told the audience, and proceeded to
explain the simple and straight-forward principles under which it would

A cooperative will be registered, and all the members of that cooperative must
register their chosen income to the cooperative. That income will be pooled and
expected to be equally divided between the members of the cooperative, and all
cooperatives will be audited to ensure this is the case, or they will be
de-registered. A cooperative must have a minimum of twelve adult members.

The benefit will be that the pooled income will be divided between the adults
earning it, and taxes will be paid on the resultant average income.

"The aim is to provide a framework that is similar to corporate taxation, but
works for the families working the country's co-operative businesses, and
allows the cooperatives to be recognised as equally pooled income, and taxed
based on the average resultant income."

To further his cause, the President provided simple examples to explain it:

An Utani community or village earning Û300,000 from crop sales, and an
additional Û200,000 from labouring or military work plus pensions will have
that total half-million divided between the one thousand members over the age
of fifteen. That's Û500 per year each. That isn't enough to warrant taxing (the
minimum income to be federally taxed is Û1,000.

Alternatively, a semi-urban community of two-dozen Uta-Decashi trying to live
off their plot of 13 acres, earn income from the six of their number taking
employment in the towns or from sales of vegetables, and the total community
income is Û150,000. There is fifteen over-15 adults in the community, and their
average income is Û10,000, meaning Û750 each in taxes, a community total of

He said that the minimum of twelve adult members would prevent a single family
from turning themselves into a cooperative, but that he "would consider" a
taxation framework under which exactly that was possible.

Over a thousand tax officers would be employed to help establish the framework,
and to assist communities in getting themselves registered. The President
envisaged the legislation taking effect some time between October and December
this year.

"This legislation will be brought before the Parliament after these interim
elections, and I am hopeful of seeing a Parliament viewing this legislation
positively", the President told the crowd as he wound up his non-campaigning
speech. "I see this as an opportunity of bringing about a system of fairness
for the majority, low-income, community-spirited people devoted to
cooperatively living and working. We will all gain from this. I know the people
of Utania are behind me in this objective."

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)