20 June 2011

How Do You Know You're In Switzerland...

...when you

  1. Are charged and taxed for garbage pick up.  Let me explain.  Swiss cities charge between 120.00 and 150.00 CHF (up to $178) a year for garbage pick up.  Plus, in order to throw out the trash, you need to buy region specific garbage bags which have a disposal-tax included .  This means that ONE garbage bag may cost between 2.00 and 3.00 CHF.  I like this because if you are required by law to pay a ridiculous amout for ONE garbage bag, I can guarantee that you will reduce, reuse, & recycle as much as possible.  And this is the kicker...the city that I live in has a weekly garbage pick up.  NOT TWICE A WEEK.  Trust me, since moving here, I have learned how to limit waste.
  2. Are required as a dog owner to obtain a dog license.  And your dog is required to attend a training course with learning programs that include basic obedience exercises (like walking on a leash), socialization of the dog, and a course in town (getting on the elevator, taking the bus and train…).  And believe me, the dogs here are so pleasant.  The training is evident on the trains and in outdoor public areas.
  3. Are required to get a number plate for your bicycle.
  4. Pay a voluntary church tax.  NO COLLECTION PLATES HERE.  Each person's religious affiliation is documented through their state and a voluntary tax (up to 3%) is withheld from their annual income.   
This Swiss are sooo un-American.

6 comments:

Viajera said...

Wow! Talk about Big Brother! I dunno if I could do Switzerland. I think I'd always be in trouble with my bike and my dog. :D As to the garbage, I think I'd relish that part. I love recycling and zero-waste initiatives, so... Pricey though, eh? :P

KiKi said...

Very PRICEY. That's why it works!

foosrock! said...

...AND I adore that they're so un-American!.

By the way, you only pay religion taxes if you indicate on your residency permit or tax forms that you're a member of whatever religion. In order to deter this, you'd have to obtain a letter of "Austritt" from said church/religion.

KiKi said...

@foosrock! I love it too.

Balanced Melting Pot said...

After living in several countries outside the US, I've come to realize that there's place like the US of A. That can be a good thing, but sometimes you just miss it :-)

Miss Peaches said...

I love reading about your point of view of Switzerland. Even for me as a native Swiss some of our customs, traditions and laws are quite funny. But hey, somehow Switzerland seems to function quite well... (let's not talk about the social aspects of this country, but oh well...)