Crazy & Funny

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7 Stupid Taxes That Actually Existed

If there’s one thing that people are well known to complain about, it’s definitely going to be taxes. There never seems to be a day that passes that someone isn’t complaining about taxes. However, if you think that your taxes are bad, you should probably check out the taxes that people have had to pay in the past.
The truth is that if you ask the economists, we’re actually not paying as many taxes as we used to. The taxes that we do pay go towards a variety of different services, and those services help people that desperately need assistance. This is something that’s argued back and forth, so we’ll skip the politics for now.
All of the taxes on today’s list are universally agreed upon to be pretty stupid. Check it out!
1. Beard Tax!

Wow. It doesn’t get more stupid than a beard tax — or does it? This tax is actually due to Peter the Great of Russia, who obviously had a thing against beards. He actually made his subjects wear a medal that admitted that they were ridiculous for having a beard. Peter kept himself well groomed — at least for Russia’s standards at the time.
2. Flush Tax!

In Maryland, there’s a flush tax. Yes, we had to say it straightforward — there’s a flush tax. It’s designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay, but it really still sounds stupid on paper. There’s a new fund called the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Restoration Fund. It’s supported by — yep, you guessed it — taxes. The tax equals 2.50$ a month in fees, and it’s on sewer bills that everyone has to pay for. If you have utilities, you got hit with these fees. The funds are collected by each county in Maryland, and they’re passed over to the state. The state turns around and passes out the funds to utility companies. These cash strapped darlings (sarcasm) turn around and upgrade wastewater treatment plants. The goal here is to make sure that nitrogen discharge is kept to a minimum. This is what ultimately hurts lakes and streams because algae bloom and that harms the aquatic life…that isn’t algae.
3. Tattoo Tax!

Now we’ve heard everything — for the last six years, the great residents of Arkansas have had to pay a tattoo tax. Body piercing counts too — if you want any of these services, you’ll be paying an additional 6 percent to have them. It’s just a way to get more money into the state. So the next time you want to get a picture of the Jersey Shore boys on your chest, just remember that it’s going to cost you 6 percent more. Then again, why you would want this is beyond our understanding.
4. Church Tax!
This tax is paid in Germany — if you want to belong to the church, you need to pay the tax. If you’re Catholic and you don’t want to pay the church tax, you will have to formally leave the church — you will not be allowed to participate in worship services. For a pious and devout Catholic, this is a pretty serious deal.
However, it applies equally to Protestants — the same rules apply. The money is actually used to support the church welfare and other charity programs. This is a bit different than in the US, where the church is a separate entity that cannot collect taxes of any kind.
5. Hot Air Balloon Tax!
This is from good ol’ Kansas — you know, the place where grocery stores cannot sell liquor? Yeah, that’s the one. Last year, the Kansas Department of Revenue ruled that there should be a tax on hot air balloon rides.
There is a tax on sales of tickets to anything that provides amusement, recreation, or entertainment. Yep, hot air balloons fall in that category.
6. Wind Tax?
There was a time where you had to pay a tax to have your windmill catch the wind in the Netherlands. It’s a law that’s no longer on the books anymore — that died in 1855 — but it’s still funny. How can you be taxed on something that doesn’t cost anyone anything?
7. Junk Food Tax?
Here’s one that people in the States have been buzzing about: in Denmark, there’s a tax on just about everything that’s not good for you. This includes greasy food as well as candy. Now, some would argue that it cuts down on people actually engaging in these habits, but we don’t think that’s the case. Most people will just pay the tax and get their sugar rush — wouldn’t you?
Overall, we hoped that you liked our little running list of 7 stupid taxes. Some of these are still current, but many are not. Did we skip over your favorite stupid tax? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

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