Sex tax? Kazakh Muslim leader’s proposal turns heads
Murat Telibekov, of the Muslim Union of Kazakhstan, came up with a comprehensive list of financial repercussions for engaging in various kinds of intercourse, and posted it on Facebook. Kazakh and Russian media were quick to pick it up.
Admittedly, there is nothing in the post indicating whether he was serious or not, and some of the outlets suggested that it may have been a response to a recently-introduced tax on picking wild mushrooms and berries.
The extensive list covers most of the ways of cavorting in bed (or not) that you might be able to think of, and proposes a broad range of fees, to be paid on a by-case basis.
Under the proposal, the cheapest you can pay is about $1, if you're married and a Kazakh. This includes a 50 percent discount if at least one of you knows the state language. However, that is only if you do it the 'traditional' way and for no longer than 14 minutes.
From there, the tax only grows: If you and your partner are in a long-term relationship, but not officially married, it's about $2.50 (again, this and any other price on the list can be cut in half if you know Kazakh).
A one night stand will cost you a base fee of almost $7.
If you're gay, the proposal sets the tax at some $10.
Then it gets interesting: A vaguely-defined “non-traditional” act should be taxed at about $18, the proposed bill says.
Further multipliers are applied if you last for over 14 minutes, if you are especially well-endowed (assuming "engine volume" to be a euphemism for this), or if you're a foreigner. Foreigners, naturally, will have to pay double to have sex in Kazakhstan.
Once can also buy a "year pass", to save tax money. The elderly and the disabled will be exempt from the tax altogether.
At least the list is very detailed, allowing for careful expenses planning on your next trip to Kazakhstan.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the proposal is the part on how the tax is supposed to be enforced: Via a special police unit with the right to invade homes without a court ruling.
The proposal does have a well-meaning goal: All the tax money will go to improve the reproductive health of Kazakhstan's people and combat STDs.