BUSINESS

Switzerland Tax Break For Millionaires Vote: Shania Twain, Phil Collins, Tina Turner May Get Burned By Swiss Banking Changes

11/22/2012 11:59 EST | Updated 01/22/2013 05:12 EST
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LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 14: International superstar Shania Twain arrives at Caesars Palace on November 14, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. SHANIA: STILL THE ONE debuts Dec. 1 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Caesars Palace)
GENEVA - Swiss socialists and labour unions have succeeded in putting the country's tax breaks for foreign millionaires up to a popular vote.

The tax breaks introduced 150 years ago have helped attract foreigners like Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, Formula One champion Michael Schumacher and pop stars Tina Turner, Phil Collins and Shania Twain.

The government said Thursday a petition on the issue drew 103,353 signatures, enough to call for parliamentary debate and national referendum within several years.

Already, four of the nation's 26 cantons, or states, have decided to scrap the breaks that allow the rich to pay a flat fee and avoid income tax.

That boosts local economies and banks, but creates resentment among ordinary people who pay more tax than rich celebrities.

More than 5,000 foreigners use the tax breaks.

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