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Editorial: Tax tidbits: Did you know ...


August 24. 2013 3:21AM
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The Lima News



Conventional wisdom states it is nobody’s business, but your own, when it comes to sharing the information on your income tax forms. … That is, unless you’re the president of the United States.



Ever since Jimmy Carter volunteered his tax information in 1976, it’s been customary for presidents to share their tax information with the public. We bet they love Carter for that smooth move.



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We’re becoming France



This in from Forbes’ magazine: Federal income taxes are crushing us again. The fiscal cliff deal not only raised top rates but also reduced the deductions of higher-income people. Add in the Medicare tax — now 3.8 percent for upper-income earners — and the effective marginal federal rate is 44 percent. And President Obama wants to boost these levies even more. He envies France, which is putting in a 75 percent tax rate on the “rich.” Even more destructive, France is also hiking capital gains levels to that catastrophic height.



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What once was taxed …



• Roman emperor Vespasian placed a tax on urine in the 1st century A.D. Apparently, urine at that time was collected and used as a source of ammonia for tanning hides and laundering garments.



• In 1691, England taxed the number of windows on a house. Consequently, houses began to be built with very few windows or people would close up existing windows. When people began to suffer health problems from lack of windows/air, the tax was finally repealed in 1851.



• Russian Emperor Peter the Great placed a tax on beards in 1705. He hoped that the tax would encourage men to have a clean-shaved look that was popular in Western Europe.



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What still is taxed



• Texas has a “pole tax” which is a tax on strip clubs, peep shows, and nude dancing. The revenue from the tax goes to sexual assault victims and health insurance for the poor.



• While disposable diapers are subject to sales tax in Wisconsin, cloth diapers are not.



In that regard, you could offer proof that taxes really do stink.





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