In Peru, Exiles Sell to Pay Taxes On Streets

Puebla, U.S.A. (News, AP) — Peruvian authorities say that scores of citizens are staging one of the country’s biggest street-sale campaigns.

With nearly 25 cities participating in a global tax-exile movement, 300 Peruvians came to their offices Monday to file and pay income taxes. Many told the press they hope to spend the evening without abandoning life on the streets.

The Americans are said to come to pick up paper, stickers and pen and follow organizers into several large areas in Lima, an industrial city in western Peru, they will then converge in Puebla, a city about 300 miles south of the capital of Lima. Each city has a distinct flavor to the sale, and neighborhoods are named for their leaders.

Puebla is in central Peru, near the border with Bolivia.

Central to the event is a new law allowing the tax-exile movement to collect taxes in the cities where it is held. The law became effective on Monday. But there has been no reported participation in the tax-exile activities in Puebla, which many members say doesn’t embrace a radical alternative to capitalism. In Puebla, officials have held a gala, where hundreds of Peruvians drank kerosene oil, set up tents and people filled streets to buy gasoline, electronic gadgets and produce.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a statement welcoming the launch of the campaign, which the Peruvian National Association of Tax Exiles said is based on a 1799 law that allows individuals to abstain from their money for humanitarian reasons.

“All companies, trade associations, and other taxing entities are welcome to adopt fiscal policies in conformity with the laws of the countries in which they conduct business,” the Treasury said.

The Peruvian bill and the American attempt to halt it are pitting tax activists against people in Central America and elsewhere, who fear a tax break would be meaningless without repressive regulation and tighter control. Peruvian industry officials have complained of companies using the movement as an excuse to stay in Peru.

The group said that about two-thirds of the world’s income comes from taxes and that 190 cities have officially declared their cities out of exiles to participate in the tax-exile movement.

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