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The Bureau of National Affairs

No. 119

Thursday June 21, 2001 Page G-5

ISSN 1523-567X

Tax, Budget & Accounting

International Taxes:
International Coalition Faults OECD,
EU Efforts to Limit Tax Competition

A global coalition of citizen taxpayer groups issued a declaration June 15 denouncing efforts of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to limit tax competition and mandate fiscal conformity.

The so-called St. Louis Declaration, signed by 32 member groups under the umbrella of the World Taxpayers Associations, professed a "fundamental human right for individuals to move themselves and their property to nations of other political jurisdictions with levels of taxation and public services compatible with their individual tastes and preferences."

"The point of the St. Louis Declaration is that taxpayer associations from across the globe want to urge all member nations to oppose the [OECD] initiative because of fundamental constraints on human rights that this would impose," Eric Schlecht, the National Taxpayers Union director of congressional relations, told BNA.

OECD is trying to induce dozens of jurisdictions worldwide targeted as tax havens to eliminate aspects of their taxation regimes that create harmful tax competition (124 DTR G-1, 6/27/01).

Freedom to Move Property Cited

Schlecht said citizens of all nations should be able to move themselves and their property wherever they like, whenever they like. "They should not be punished for this, restricted from doing so, or have their privacy rights influenced," he added. The OECD, operating under the auspices of the European Union, wants to prohibit persons residing in jurisdictions with high tax rates from transferring their assets to jurisdictions with lower rates, Schlecht said.

"The Europeans have put themselves in a situation where they cannot be competitive because their tax rates are so high," he said. The EU wants to remove an incentive for its citizens to move their investments and savings into other countries, he added.

From a U.S. standpoint, Schlecht said, U.S. cooperation in the OECD initiative "would effectively kill tax reform in this country" through the implementation of excessive government control and regulation of the economy.

Text of the St. Louis Declaration is in BNA TaxCore.

By Myrna Zelaya-Quesada

Copyright © 2001 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington D.C.


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