On esoteric EU taxes . . .

I learn interesting facts from a variety of places. It’s one of the things I love about my job. On Allergan’s recent earnings call, the company mentioned new taxes in Europe being implemented on facial aesthetic procedures (such as Botox injections). France has recently implemented a 20% tax on such procedures. In Spain, the tax went from 8% to 21%.

I’m sympathetic to the view that such things are luxuries and can therefore be sources of revenue for the government. I’m also sympathetic to the view that taxes can be raised to an extreme-enough level that it will negatively impact commerce, hurting both corporate sales and commensurately resulting in tax revenue declines. I don’t know whether these levels are enough to cause such a pattern of negative growth, but they are enough to catch my eye.

I collect quotes; some are words of wisdom, others are ones that I find somehow amusing. These notable taxes remind me of a quote by Ronald Reagan: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

source: Allergan Q3 2012 earnings call

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