Norway Instituted a Voluntary Tax Plan. It Raised $1,325

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 7, 2017

Faced with accusations that a recent series of tax cuts would only benefit the wealthiest citizens, the Norwegian government instituted a program that let people pay more in taxes if they felt their rate was too low. The result? $1,325, according to Bloomberg. Needless to say, it would appear that Norwegians are not eager to give more money to their government than strictly necessary. The program was decried as a political distraction from the left-of-center opposition party, who said that if the government was really serious about making up for recent revenue shortfalls then it would go after multinational companies like Google and Facebook. Launched only this past June, the opposition has argued that the scheme already costs more than it makes. 

The U.S. has had a similar voluntary contribution program running since the 1990s, though rather than going into the general fund, payments instead go directly towards paying off the U.S. national debt. It's generated far more money than the nascent Norwegian program, with $2,718,154.76 collected in 2016 alone, though this remains a drop in the bucket to the total national debt of roughly $19 trillion

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