Monday, December 05, 2011

Community policing the Chinese way

I finally got around to going to my local cop shop to try to complete my 'change of residence' registration this weekend (the landlord usually needs to accompany you the first time you register at a new address; he's been too busy to come and do that for the past week or so).

And they demanded an on-the-spot 'fee' of 5% of the annual rent.

However, they did couch this in terms of Well, you don't have to register. But if you do, you have to pay your 'property income tax' via us. Obviously, this policy is not encouraging anyone to comply with the law by registering their addresses.

I have never heard of anyone else being asked for money in the police station like this before. I'm asking around to try to find out if this is a 'new policy', or just a scam that this particular station is trying on.

Of course, there are no mechanisms in place for trying to verify the relationship between landlord and tenant, or the actual amount of money changing hands. So, we could just knock up a dummy contract suggesting that my rent is fairly nominal. In fact, I have gathered from Chinese friends in the past that it is fairly standard to claim that you are "a friend of the landlord" and staying in an apartment rent-free, and this is never challenged

However, this question is usually only raised by the Tax Bureau, not by the police. Since when have the police been appointed 'collection agents' for the Tax Bureau??? Is this really another piece of Chinese administrative lunacy?  Oiveh!


Carolyn said...

I enjoy learning about China from your point of view.

Froog said...

And where did you come from, Carolyn? Why are you reading about China?

Carolyn said...

You made a comment on a blog that I read regularly. I'm always looking for blogs that fit my interests. Actually, China is primarily my husband's interest. We have watched numerous Chinese movies that have opened my mind to another way of being in the world, besides the "American" way. I'm sad that much of their history has been destroyed.