Cigarettes and the complexity of the tax code

Sometimes people wonder why the legislation surrounding various taxes is so complex, given the relatively straight-forward nature of those taxes. The Tax Foundation provides a telling example in a recent post about the definition of a cigarette: Cigarettes are taxed in New Mexico, as everywhere else, and at a pretty hefty rate. As the tax […]

Ten principles of sound tax policy

The Tax Foundation’s Ten principles of sound tax policy are a must-read for those influencing tax policy. I think the list can be further refined down to about half that, but maybe they wanted to get an even ten. For instance, maintaining the neutrality of the system (#2) will result in broad bases (#3). It’s […]

Bizarre taxes to put our situation into perspective

We like to complain (and for good reason) about the litany of taxes imposed on us by various levels of government, but this post on Neatorama details some bizarre taxes through history that make current ones seem tame. Peter the Great, czar of Russia, imposed a tax on souls in 1718…meaning everybody had to pay […]