Tuesday, May 15, 2007

AmeriNZ #10 – Civil Unions and Stuff

Episode 10 is now available—it’s just me this time. The episode is free no matter where you get it from. You can listen to it or download it through the player at the bottom of the post here, or subscribe for free through iTunes here (you must have the free iTunes player installed). You can also listen to it for free through the player on my MySpace page.
New Zealand civil unions are marriages in all but name. All marriages and civil unions are basically property contracts. But the protections are important. Married/civil unioned couples in New Zealand don’t file joint tax returns. Wage and salary earners don’t need to file tax returns. Taxes pay for nearly everything—including health. Property taxes, called rates, pay mostly for local amenities and infrastructure maintenance. Comments are commented on, and a short review of my weekend. Please leave a comment, or send an email to amerinz[at]yahoo.com.

Get AmeriNZ Podcast for free on iTunes


CondoBlogger said...

Hello Arthur,

Do you work for the New Zealand Board of Tourism or some kind of specialized super secret Kiwi government department in charge of getting as many people as possible to move to NZ? Honestly, between your podcast and my Mom's rave reviews from her vacaion there, I get a little closer to chucking it all and moving to Middle Earth every day!

The Tax talk was interetsting (though I must admit I zoned out a little... I'm just not numerically or mathmatically inclined, plus I'm dealing with some tax nonsense of my own right now so, more was not what I needed). What I didn't hear you say is which system you prefer. US or NZ?

Kalv1n said...

Every single time you said GST tax, I thought of Generation Skipping Transfer tax which is a lovely tax that we have here in our lovely fascist state. Not that I have serious problems with the GST tax here, and the GST sounds strange there. I guess I like not having tax included because it helps me realize the actual amount of tax that I'm paying (sort of a transparency) but it sounds like you have that with your invoices as well.

And for not mentioning sex what a double entendre you left on my site!

Congratulations again, and hopefully you will be able to manage all of Nigel's family as well as your own.

This picture stuff just won't seem to die, will it?

Arthur Schenck said...

CondoBlogger: No, you're just seeing the enthusiasm of a convert. I can see how people come here on holiday, fall in love with the place and decide to move here. I fell under the country's spell sort of accidentally, so I'm still surprised by it all--and maybe just a wee bit more evangelistic about it. You're welcome to move here anytime, btw...

As for taxes, well, I zoned out a bit, too when I listened later. To answer your question, there's a lot I prefer about NZ's tax structure--it's simplicity and transparency, for example--but like everyone in every country, pretty much, I'd like taxes to be lower. But I also like what those taxes buy, so I'm willing to put up with them.

Kalvin: I prefer knowing if the coins in my pocket will cover the price on the tag, so I like having the tax included. If I really want to know, of course, I can always check the invoice, as you noted.

I wouldn't have had a double entendre to make if you hadn't put it in a way that demanded it! Besides, I may be somewhat reserved about sex, but I'm no prude--thank goodness!

Sigh! No, the picture thing just won't go away. I think I need to wave the white flag and see if I can't find something to post, or else get some photos taken.