Hugo Chavez Taxes Toilet Paper

The first act Hugo Chavez takes after buying reelection is to tax toilet paper because, he insists, it is a luxury item. From Bloomberg:

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) — Venezuela, Latin America’s largest consumer of Scotch whiskey, raised custom taxes on the spirit and another 200 imported goods the government considers non- essential.

The government will add a 15 percent surcharge on the current customs taxes on goods including razor blades, sail boats, pearls and toilet paper, according to the official gazette. The government also eased requirements on obtaining dollars to purchase of machinery, raw materials and auto parts.

Nice. So if Venezuelans want to save money on toilet paper, they’ll have to be sure they have a nice selection of leaves when they go to the bathroom.

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