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New Nep in Russia?: Decree Issued by Soviet Government Reducing Taxes Imposed on Artisans and Puttin

The Central Executive Committee of the Soviets issued to-day a new tax decree which looks like proving a boon for tens of thousands of Jewish artisans and mechanics throughout the Soviet Union.

The decree reduces the taxes imposed upon such artisans by one third. It also puts a stop to the arbitrary methods hitherto employed by the local tax authorities in taxing artisans. Henceforth the Commissariat of Finance in Moscow will itself determine the amount of taxes to be levied on such artisans, and the local tax committees are no longer permitted to determine the amount of taxes to be imposed on an artisan according to their estimate of his gross turnover of business.

The decree has been issued because it has been found that the local tax committees are frequently able to ruin an artisan or mechanic by claiming that his turnover is larger than he has declared and piling heavy taxes upon him, making it impossible for him to continue his work. The Central Executive Committee now definitely orders that wherever it is found necessary to fix the tax in accordance with the business turnover of the artisan this should be done only on the basis of unquestioned figures, showing the exact income, and not dependent on more guesswork as was done in the past.

Many see in this unexpected move taken by the Central Executive Committee a tendency on the part of the Soviet Government to experiment with a temporary and restricted form of a new Nep.