Taxing at the Ministry
Anyone have any idea if the Ministry taxes? I'm thinking there's no canon info on it, but it makes sense, yes? Do you think they charge for things like health care, upkeep of roads (though I suppose they don't have many), protections against...evil things, etc? We know the kiddies have to pay for Hogwarts, but what about St. Mungo's or something? Do you think they would use tax brackets like we do (I'm in America)? Anyone have ideas?
Thanks for any help!
Well, something has to pay for the Ministry and all the staff for a start, so I guess they must tax witches and wizards.
I could imagine that St Mungo's has a treat everyone for free policy like our National Health service, but that there would be private rooms for rich people and you'd have to pay for certain treatments as well.
We have tax bands in UK (which I assume are the same thing). If your income is low then you pay a lesser percentage of your income in tax, than if you're rich. There's also allowances for married couples, couples with children - etc etc.
In UK we have something called Child benefit, which is an amount of money paid out to the mother per child she has. It's usually paid direct to the mother, rather than the family. It ends (I think) when the child is either 16 and leaves school, or 18 if they stay on at school.
Protection against evil things - I think that comes under the category of the Ministry and would be rather like our taxes that pay for police forces, fire services etc.
In UK we also have main income tax - which pays for the majority of our services, and then a local home-owning tax which goes to the council and will pay for local things like refuse collection, upkeep of roads. I can't see wizards having that ... although I wonder if the Weasleys have to pay anything to the Muggle authority they live within.
I reckon they'd have taxes because, like Carole said, someone or something has to pay for it all.
I think healthcare would be free because JKR has modeled a lot of things, like the school system, on the UK, and we don't pay upfront for it. However, I don't think they'd pay a sort of council tax; they can just repair roads with their wands or Vanish the rubbish and stuff. There wouldn't really be any point.
I don't think wizards pay council tax to the Muggle council that they live in. They seem rather removed from the Muggle societies they live in (I'm going by the Weasley's here, and the general attitude towards Muggles). It wouldn't surprise me that the Ministry had Confunded councils to exclude wizarding houses from the taxes, or had an understanding with the Government. They don't use the services paid for by the tax, really.