In this article is revealed how the Belgian inheritance tax system was used as a functional political instrument, throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. It was a tool, offering a broad range of unifying and disintegrating processes, which shaped a state identity. The emphasis lays on the many changes of the political power. This of course marked deeply the formation of the death duty legislation. Time after time, different political elites and majorities voted for changes in the existing system, using both continuous and discontinuous argumentations (the article mainly focuses on the parlementary motivations). The policy making was limited by the state itself, and by the ruling political elite (hence the use of the concept ‘state capacity’). The state merged technicity and prestige and employed the inheritance taxes to cling the local dignitaries and the local level to the administration. The Belgian tax culture – only examined in restricted sense, proceeding from the state’s and tax administration’s view – definitely was a manifestation of state identity. The Belgian tax morale – a concept comprehending fraud and anti-fiscality or the friction between the tax-paying citizen and the fiscal administration – was being modelled as well by the state and the fiscal administration, through the conscious and implicit decisions it made.
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||2|
|Status||Published - 2010|