Placing a Tax on Witches? Get Ready For a Curse

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Romanian Bratara Buzea, 63, who was imprisoned for witchcraft under communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's repressive regime, displays implements during an interview with The Associated Press in Mogosoaia, Romania.

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

In these tough economic times, even witches have to pay taxes, at least in Romania. And not all of them are happy about it.

Mind you, when witches protest, they don’t just carry signs with amusing slogans, or toss something as innocuous as tea into the harbor. They do, according to the AP, throw poisonous mandrake into the Danube to cast spells on lawmakers.

(See the top 10 odd news stories of 2010.)

The reason for the witches’ ire is a new Romanian law requiring them, along with astrologers and fortune tellers, to register their professions and thus become liable to pay taxes. Witch Alisia questioned the rationale of taxing what she said was such a small income, while Queen Witch Bratara Buzea said on camera that if the country’s president “has something personal with me, I’ll show him.”

(Funny side note: the BBC, stating driving instructors will also be taxed, notes, “There has been no reaction from them so far.”)

Not every Romanian witch, however, is angry. Far from cursing the law, some are applauding it for the recognition it provides them.

(See the top 10 pictures of 2010.)

Still, the decision to amend the country’s tax code (the incantation, “be gone, tax evasion!” presumably proving ineffective) could not have been an easy one for those in the Romanian government, if only because of the perceived potential for risking personal harm. As the AP reports, “President Traian Basescu and his aides have been known to wear purple on certain days, supposedly to ward off evil,” while supporters of the losing presidential candidate in 2009  ascribed his poor debate performance to “attacks of negative energy by their opponent’s aides.” (via AP)

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