In Britain, the top 1% of earners pay over a quarter of all income tax collected, and while super-rich British residents perhaps don’t have the tax breaks the Macklowes enjoy, the bulk of the burden falls on lawyers, bankers, company executives and owners of successful private enterprises. And it should, say the collectivists….
One of the juicier stories doing the rounds in New York society is the Macklowe divorce. Harry, the husband, kept a French mistress for two years before seeking a divorce from his wife of 58 years. So far, this is a run-of-the-mill marital split. But what made it the subject of gossip is the extraordinary lifestyle of the Macklowes, the mud being slung, and the expectations of the wronged 79-year old wife, seeking a billion or so to see out her remaining days.
They say hell hath no fury, and all that. Here is one of New York’s richest couples, washing their laundry in public, and it emerges that Harry has not paid tax since 1983. Harry’s lawyer bluntly stated in court that “people in real estate don’t pay taxes”. It echoes Leona Hemsley’s infamous quote that emerged at her trial thirty years ago, when the Queen of Mean said “We don’t pay taxes, only little people pay taxes.”
This still surprises many of us little people, but we must believe a top New York lawyer when he makes a statement in a court of law. The source of immense personal wealth in cities like New York is often from property development, and if this is a tax-free activity, it makes a mockery of the state redistributing money from the haves to the have-nots.
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