Thursday, June 14, 2007

Double My "Fun"

Click on this smaller picture for a more readable large one. The gray areas are what we pay. The numbers on the left are income levels.

This morning, my husband and I scrutinized the documentation that came with my ward taxes and discovered that the rate has been doubled from 5% to 10%. That's a hike from 3% to 6% for the local ward taxes and an increase from 2% to 3% for the Tokyo-to taxes.

I may be reading the letter I received incorrectly but it appears that those who make less than 2,000,000 yen a year (a bar which I am very far below) have had their rates doubled and those who are above 7,000,000 yen have actually received a reduction from 13% to 10% total taxes. The charts I received indicate that a flat rate for both the ward and Tokyo-to is now applied to everyone regardless of income.

There is some other information at the bottom of the page which I can't understand well enough to make conclusions about so I've solicited Luis for help (hoping he can get his Japanese girlfriend to have a look on my behalf). I'm hoping this information explains what appears to be an attempt to expand the gap between the poorest and the richest by taxing those of us at the low end more and those at the higher end less.

I don't usually read gaijin.pot's boards but this has been a topic that has been discussed quite a bit recently. It seems that ward taxes are being boosted because income taxes have been lowered but you're still going to pay more in the end. The idea is that the federal tax money that used to go to the local government will be paid directly to them via city taxes rather than first paying it to the federal government and having them hand it over to the local governments.

I mentioned previously that I got all my tax money back. Well, if this system is at it appears, I'm about to pay every yen of it back in ward taxes anyway.

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