From the faces in line at the post office and mailing stations around town, it is fair to surmise the popularity of this day is not in celebration of the great American Institution, the IRS, but rather in spite of.
1696- The window tax. King William III concluded taxing by the number of windows one owned was far less an invasive than a straight income tax. As structures grew with wealth and hence more windows, they expected it to be seen as fair. The result: Bricked up facades where windows used to be.
1712- The wallpaper tax. During Queen Anne's reign, what was more a luxury item than printed wallpaper? To tax this purely decorative item, it would impact only the rich. The rich discovered they could purchase plain wall paper. Once hung, it could be hand stenciled without incurring a tax.
1773.King George III. The Tea Tax. Three words: Boston Tea Party.
1784.The Brick Tax. King George III needed to pay for the war against the American colonials. With the same reasoning as the window tax, a fee was levied based upon lots of a 1,000 bricks. The result- bricks were manufactured in larger sizes. The burden of the tax caused business failures in construction. Architecture changed to accommodate non-taxed building materials.
My conclusion. Fairness is in the eye of the beholder. Until textbooks, line graphs and pie charts pay taxes, the human spirit must reign . For the government to raise revenue from people and institutions run by people, there is only one way to raise revenue. Through the encouragement of commerce.
Images by Gene Sasse. Used with permission.