Fact Check: List Of 25 Taxes Does NOT Only Include Taxes That Didn't Exist 60 Years Ago

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: List Of 25 Taxes Does NOT Only Include Taxes That Didn't Exist 60 Years Ago Old Taxes

Is this an accurate list of 25 taxes that didn't exist 60 years ago? No, that's not true: The list includes taxes that have been around since long before 1962. For example, federal taxes on tobacco and alcohol date as far back as the 18th century, as do property taxes. Other taxes, like the Social Security tax and sales tax, are relatively more recent but have still been around for more than 60 years.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post published on August 10, 2022. In part, the post read:

We are charged:
· Stamp Duty
· Tobacco Tax
· Corporate Income Tax
· Income Tax
· Council Tax
· Unemployment Tax
· Fishing License Tax
· Petrol/Diesel Tax
· Inheritance Tax (tax on top of tax)
· Alcohol Tax
· G.S.T.
· Property Tax
· Purchase Property Tax
· Tax on Title Searches
· Tax on Building Inspections
· Tax on supplements
· Taxes on various food items
· Taxes on Dining out
· Tax on all utilities - Phone, hydro, water, waste disposal
· Service charge taxes
· Social Security Tax
· Vehicle License / Registration Tax
· Vehicle Sales Tax
· Workers Compensation Tax
· And now Carbon Tax
AND I'm sure you can think of more......
Not one of these taxes existed 60 years ago, and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Aug 12 15:27:28 2022 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out to the Tax Foundation, a tax policy nonprofit, to ask about the post's claim. Adam Hoffer, Director of Excise Tax Policy, responded in an email, dated August 12, 2022. He wrote:

My summary comment on that post is that the sentiment underlying the post - that Americans are much more heavily taxed now than in the past - is correct, but the post is riddled with factual errors.

He went on to give specific examples. For instance, the federal government has taxed tobacco since the 18th century. States didn't start taxing cigarettes until the early 20th century, as can be seen here, but most still did so well before 60 years ago. Similarly, alcohol taxes date back to the 18th century, when Congress imposed a so-called whiskey tax to help pay down debts accumulated during the Revolutionary War.

Other examples of taxes wrongly included in the list are the property tax, the income tax, and the Social Security tax. The Social Security Act was signed in 1935 and taxes were collected for the first time in 1937; the modern version of the federal income tax was ratified in 1913; and, according to The Atlantic, the federal government levied a national property tax as early as 1798, and then again in 1814, 1815, 1816 and 1861.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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