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11 Strangest Taxes of All-Time


Taxes are something that most people loathe, but are an unavoidable fact of life. The famous words of Benjamin Franklin live on in infamy still to this day. However, there are some taxes that have been implemented throughout history that may surprise even you. Many of these strange taxes have been done away with over time, but some still exist.

Pee Tax

This might seem a bit too personal, but the pee tax was implemented during the 1st Century. Ammonia found in urine was a very lucrative substance during this time. This resulted in people collecting and selling urine, which led to the widespread pee tax. Public urinals were not safe places when the pee tax was in place.

Window Tax

It might seem like everything is taxable in today’s society, but really, windows? This strange tax first came into existence in 1969 when England taxed homeowners based on the number of windows that were in place. The result was exactly what you would expect. Many homes in England had very few windows or none at all. So like most things, it resulted in a health crisis and the window tax was abandoned.

Wallpaper Tax

Some of these strange taxes are crazier than others and this one is at the top of many lists. In 1712, England decided that all printed wallpaper would be taxable. This didn’t stop builders from avoiding paying the tax. They simply began buying only plain wallpaper and simply created their own patterns and designs over the wallpaper. People in this time period knew how to think outside the box.

Wig Perfume Tax

In 1795, wigs were very popular for both men and women. However, to minimize the odor of sweat, many men and women used aromatic powders to cover their wigs. This led to a wig perfume tax that created an abundance of smelly wigs. Pretty soon wigs were not the phenomenon that they once were anymore.

Prepared Food Tax

Some taxes are strange, because they are designed to make you pay double. Take the prepared food tax, for instance. New York is a popular city that has this tax and it allows foods to be taxed twice. For example, the simple act of purchasing a sliced bagel will result in a food tax and a prepared food tax just because it was sliced. Taxes can be pretty tricky.

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