Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tax Protest: Canadian Normand Czepial Ponies up 200,000 Canadian Pennies to Pay Property Tax

by the Left Coast Rebel

This story may hail from Canada, tucked away in the 'weird news' section where I found it, but if anything to me; it is a teachable moment against coercive taxation:

RIPON, Que. - A Quebec man, fed up with his skyrocketing property taxes, carted more than 200,000 pennies down to City Hall to pay his bill. But he was denied, and asked to simply cut a cheque.

Normand Czepial of Ripon, Que. — less than an hour's drive northeast of Gatineau — arrived at City Hall on Wednesday with a children's pool filled with 213,625 pennies.

Readers may be contemplating, why didn't this guy just pay his property tax? What's the big deal, his bill couldn't have risen that much.

Just how much do you think Normand Czepial's property tax rise in one year?

How does almost 200% sound?:

Czepial's property tax bill reportedly rose by nearly $4,000 dollars last year to $6,400.
It's really fitting when you think about it. In the Once Golden State many of the myriad taxes and regulations 'for our own good' actually end up nickel-and-diming the middle class to death, achieving the precise opposite of that which they purport to do and make life generally unhappy, unliveable for folks of normal means.

Perhaps the term should be penny-and-nickelling to death.

Every time a big-governemt type proposes a robber-barron scheme, it always comes with the sales pitch that, 'it's only this teeny little amount, what's the big deal?' But when you add up pennies, nickels and dimes taken from you (and often tucked away from sight), you end up with a society that inhibits upward mobility (and that's just what they want - it's called a permanent dependent class).

Moving back to the Canadian-penny story, like any socialized, Obamanation-Bureaucracy --- 'there's a law against that':

Under the Currency Act, nobody is obliged to accept more than 25 pennies as payment for any product or service. Normand Czepial, unfortunately, was 213,600 over the limit.

Cross posted to Rational Nation, , Left Coast Rebel.


  1. After reading the act, there may be a loop hole that can be exploited. The act makes reference to payments.

    Get in line. Make the maximum payment in that coinage or your choice that is allowed. Get back into line and repeat.

    For a $20,000 bill, it should be possible to make ...

    500 payments of $40 in $2 coins, or ...
    800 payments of $25 in $1 coins, or ...
    2000 payments of $10 in quarters, or ...
    2000 payments of $10 in dimes, or ...
    4000 payments of $5 in nickels, or ...
    80000 payments of 25 cents in pennies, or ...

  2. I understand the sentiment, but it's much easier to write a check and move on with your life!

  3. I don't know about Canada, but here in the states it's all legal tender. I've heard of people doing this and they too were refused, but I doubt they thought of the legal perspective and demanded the assessor accept the payment or issue a statement that payment was attempted but refused by the taxing authority and then haul said taxing authority in front of the judge next door.

    But like Proof said, and in my state we're in the process of amending the state constitution to limit and control property taxes. Moral of the story: elect reasonable people if you want reasonable governance.

  4. The more I think about it, the protest might give you warm fuzzies for a day or two, but consider that whoever is tasked with counting your pennies for the government, is being paid with your tax dollars and will likely not be as fast or as accurate as having a bank do it.

    Pay the stupid fine and then work to get whatever clown is in the office replaced by someone more responsible. If that means campaigning for or against their boss, so be it! Take back the government, people!

  5. Believing that taxes are too high is one thing. If it's something you believe, use the political process to elect candidates who will cut taxes and government waste. But stunts like this serve no purpose.

    And don't get me started on the absurd "legal" (a term I use loosely) arguments that tax protesters often employ.