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Cantons vote to hike taxes for rich foreigners

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11:46 CET+01:00

The canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden decided on Sunday to abolish lump-sum tax arrangements for wealthy foreigners.

The initiative was passed with 9,169 votes to 5,829 in the smaller of the two Appenzell cantons, making it the third canton after Zurich and Schaffhausen to delete the special arrangements, news agency SDA reported.

While only 22 rich foreigners were registered for the lump-sum agreement, taxes from these individuals in 2010 brought in some one and a half million francs ($1,632,464) to the cantonal coffers. This figure represents 0.5 percent of all taxes recovered from the region.

Meanwhile in the canton of Luzern, voters have called for stricter hurdles to be put in place for rich foreigners, SDA reported. The initiative passed will require rich non-working foreigners to be taxed higher under their lump-sum arrangements.

Of the 157 rich foreigners living in the canton of Luzern, which brought in some 14 million francs ($15,244,926) in taxes in 2010, only about 20 to 25 individuals are estimated to be affected by the changes.

Currently taxes on such individuals are calculated as being five times their yearly rent. With the changes to the arrangements, this figure will increase to seven times the yearly rent, with a minimum payment of 600,000 francs ($653,536).

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