Random Tax Facts!

  • Pennsylvania is probably the only state in the U.S. that practices split-rate property tax. It’s practiced in Harrisburg, PA and twenty other cities in PA. Usually, property is assessed on two factors: the value of the land itself and the value of the improvements done on the land (such as buildings). These two factors are usually taxed at the same rate, but in the 21 cities in Pennsylvania, the value of the raw land is taxed higher than the value of the improvements.
  • The modern income tax system in France wasn’t accepted easily…Joseph Caillaux, a leading figure of the Radical party, was the leading advocate of the introduction of
    a modern income tax. Adolphe Thiers called it “immorality written in law.” Le Figaro, the leading French newspaper of the time, also seemed to oppose the idea. This was one of two reasons that led Le Figaro to wage a personal campaign against Joseph Caillaux, and one idea it wanted to execute was publishing love letters Joseph had written to his wife Henriette while he had been married to another woman (his ex-wife). Before Le Figaro could execute the idea, however, Henriette Caillaux shot and killed Le Figaro‘s editor Gaston Calmette in 1914.
  • Tuscan bread resulted from a tax on salt by the Duke of Tuscany.
  • Old houses in Amsterdam are usually narrower and taller, because the width of a house was subject to property taxes.
  • Mansard roofs in France were a way to avoid taxes on the number of rooms in a house (Mansard roof rooms were counted as an attic instead of as rooms.)
  • Wat Tyler Peasant revolt – another tax story
  • Dog taxes (taxes on how long the tail of a dog could be) existed
  • Beard taxes existed
  • Window taxes (taxes based on how many windows one might have) existed

…and lots more.



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