Italy is obsessed with aesthetics. Every shop window, no matter how small, is beautifully arranged. Cities and villages aren’t cluttered with utility poles because everything is underground. Italians dress with studied personal style. The county lauds architecture both classic and modern. And every producer of cheese, salami, olive oil and wine will tell you that only the freshest, purest and best ingredients go into their product. Italians prize beauty and quality. Despite this, their country is covered in graffiti. Ask an Italian how it got there. He’ll most likely say it’s the product of foreigners.
So now the country has decided to extend that pursuit of beauty to the bodies of their population. In the process Italy has figured out yet another way to tax its citizens. In a posting, the Giornale del Corriere explained the new tax on tattoos and piercings. What a terrific way to finally get some money out of all the young people who are unemployed!
The Health Aesthetics tax is due by June 30th. Tattoos are to be taxed at 1.58 Euros ($2.19) for each square centimeter of covered skin with an additional 19.85 Euros ($27.48) for any design that is violent, sexual or racist. Piercings will cost 6.42 Euros ($8.89).
So what happens if decorated Italians respond as they do to most government taxes and ignore their responsibility? If payments aren’t made, inspections will be made on beaches by the State Bathers Control, and in random stops along highways by Citizens Sanitary Inspectors. And we though Stop and Frisk was invasive!
Something tells me these two are in for an exam.
Ok, ok. It’s all a joke. The Giornale del Corriere is a satirical site, and this is the equivalent of a story Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. But to be honest, I bought it at first.